For at least four straight hours on election night, Hillsdale’s radio students will broadcast live from the Searle Center.
With Fox News and CNN streaming and a menu including more than 2,000 chicken wings from Wings Etc. Grill & Pub, the combined election night watch-party and broadcast marathon will run from 8 p.m. on Nov. 3 until midnight or later, depending on how quickly results are calculated. The event, open to all of campus, is co-hosted by College Republicans and Young Americans for Freedom.
“We figured naturally people are going to flock to one area to watch the election, and that would probably be the TV lounge,” Radio Host Stefan Kleinhenz, a senior, said. “Our goal here is just to move them one building over, to the Searle Center, and let’s all watch it together.”
Three student radio hosts, seniors Matthew Fisher, Martin Petersen, and Kleinhenz, will provide commentary on air throughout the night. Five other students will serve as panelists, providing additional commentary and helping interview nearly 20 guests ranging from professors and students to candidates, congressmen, and alumni around the country.
Meanwhile, several radio students and volunteers — dubbed “the War Room,” according to Kleinhenz — will provide ongoing research. Other students will coordinate and produce the event from back in the studio. Students interested in volunteering can contact Rachel Kookogey.
The entire event will be student-run, Radio Station General Manager Scot Bertram said.
“Personally, I’m attempting to be as hands-off as possible so the students are really able to conceive, plan, and execute the entire night,” Bertram said. “I’ll be on hand to help set up, troubleshoot as things pop up, but if I don’t have to do anything, that’s a good night.”
The four-hour broadcast has been in the works since January, when Fisher and Kleinhenz proposed the idea to Bertram. This is the first live event of this scale the radio station has put together since the station began in 2016.
“It’s really nice to see that there was this interest to do an event like this,” Bertram said. “I’ve done election night coverage in the past on presidential election nights, both in college and professionally, and they really are some of the most interesting, fun, exhilarating times to be around. You truly don’t know — no matter what the polls say — what’s going to happen, until votes start getting counted.”