Thundering Herd Amateur Radio Club Holds its First Meeting

Matthew Schaffer, Student Reporter

The newly formed Thundering Herd Radio Club held its inaugural meeting on Monday, Oct. 10, to educate students on the possibilities of radio communication.

During the meeting, the club elected its administration and reviewed the goals that they hope to achieve through the formation of the club.

“I’ve been interested in amateur radio for a good two years now,” Jacob Wriston, club president and founder, said. “WVU has had an amateur radio club for well over 100 years now; I noticed Marshall does not have one.”

Wriston said his goal was to share his passion for amateur radio, and since Marshall did not have a club for radio, he began working over the summer to develop one.

“First, I opened a Google Doc and started writing down ideas for the club,” Wriston said. “My UNI teacher talked about the process of starting a club, so I went to HerdLink and went through the forms.”

Amateur radio is based on communication over the airwaves to as many people as possible. The club hopes to educate people on amateur radio and the physics behind radio transmission, as well as licensing club members through the Federal Communications Commission.

“Radio in general is super important in just about every aspect of your life,” Wriston said. “Anything that doesn’t use wires has to communicate somehow.”

Another aspect of amateur radio is the lack of infrastructure required for broadcast. This makes radio a valuable form of communication during emergencies.

“We can communicate in an emergency if the power was out or the cell phone towers were down,” Sarah Pappas, vice-president of the club, said. “Having your license allows you to communicate with people.”

Radio covers so many different interests that students from any department that may have an interest in joining should do so, according to Pappas.

“It’s communications, it’s physics, it’s engineering,” Pappas said. “Anyone can join.”

The club hopes to host guest speakers on the topic as well as fundraisers, and also eventually build a permanent broadcast antenna on Marshall’s campus. Currently, the club is focused on raising funds through the student government to secure personal, handheld radios for its members to begin operations.

For more information on the club, including future meetings and events, visit the Thundering Herd Amateur Radio Club’s HerdLink page or visit the club’s Instagram @muhamclub.