The Blaze is Roosevelt University’s on-campus radio station, based out of the Gage building on Michigan Avenue. The team of broadcasters was just named the number six college radio station in the country by Great Value Colleges. Although it’s a little out of the blue, an accomplishment like this is not uncommon for the broadcasting team, having been on the 51 best college radio stations list on bestcolleges.com in 2016.
The Blaze’s Station Manager, Celena Ruiz, English major, has been with the Blaze since she was a freshman. Now a senior, Ruiz was surprised by this accomplishment.
Ruiz said, “It’s crazy cause if you think about the radio, we’re in a closet, kind of, in Gage where no one really goes, so it makes me proud that someone’s recognizing us for what we’re doing.”
Faculty advisor, Billy Montgomery, shared the same sentiment. “I’m always surprised by how people find out about us, because there’s so many different stations, there’s so many different platforms to put out audio components now, it was very surprising,” Montgomery said.
The Blaze team, although surprised, were all pleased to achieve something like this. “It speaks to the quality of work that these students are doing and I’m proud to know that somebody else recognizes it,” Montgomery said.
Many on the Blaze staff contribute this accomplishment to the people working around them. Matthew Harlovic, a sustainability major and a DJ for the Blaze, said, “The people that come into the radio and actually dedicate their time to starting shows and continuing with their shows,” Harlovic said. Harlovic also has his own radio show, RU Positive, which he hosts every Thursday. Montgomery was also happy to attribute the accomplishment to the students on staff. Montgomery said, “We do have some amazing shows, and some amazing students who are doing a lot of good work.”
The Blaze has played an important part in building a community at Roosevelt, through their annual Blazefest as well as featuring CCPA students on the radio from time to time. “I think we facilitate a lot of opportunities for people to come together and enjoy music, which is awesome because everybody loves music,” Ruiz said.
Going forward, the staff of the Blaze is excited to continue working to bring RU together, DJ Matthew Harlovic looks forward to “being able to have a show and being able to connect the community on some sort of level,” Harlovic said.
Furthermore, station manager Celena Ruiz plans to continue to welcome students from all walks of life and give them a voice on the radio. She said she wants “to make the radio station even better than just music and something in a closet.”