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Turn Up The Volume: SOAS Radio Society Is Finally Back

By Jacob Delos Santos, MA Global Media & Digital Communications

After one academic year of radio silence, SOAS’ Radio Society is making its long-awaited comeback this March. The broadcasting group is being reinstated into the Student Union after long talks spearheaded by its new President, Noha Mohamed. 

The news of SOAS Radio’s return follows the society’s crude dissolution on the 9th of November 2022, after its previous manager, Fred Molin, was abruptly suspended by SOAS’ HR department. Given less than a day’s worth of official notice, questions were raised by UNISON, SOAS Justice for Workers, and students at SOAS surrounding Molin’s carelessly handled dismissal at the hands of the institution. Molin’s discharge followed a string of 500 redundancies imposed by SOAS during industrial disputes in 2022, disputes now as recent as the Brunei Gallery bookshop’s closure scheduled for August 2024. 

In an interview with the new President, Noha, she highlighted the importance of re-establishing SOAS Radio as a student platform, as well as outlining the upcoming steps the society will take in the lead-up to its launch. “I feel like the campus community has a lot to say, but there isn’t a medium for it,” Noha states. “I had seen that the society had been established before, and wanted to ensure that SOAS students had a platform to express themselves.”

“My vision is for it to become something that is accessible to anyone who has anything exceptional, unique, or important to say.”

When asked about what her vision would be for the society, Noha explained all the different avenues in which future members can get involved at SOAS Radio. “My vision is for it to become something that is accessible to anyone who has anything exceptional, unique, or important to say.” She continues, “it doesn’t matter what experiences you have, we want to hear them. Whether it’s a talk show, sharing your music, publicising an event, inviting professors, inviting topic experts, inviting cultural leaders — we want to hear from you.” 

The latest iteration of SOAS Radio currently comprises nine team members, originating from diverse backgrounds across the SOAS community. “A few of us are media students,” Noha says, “some of us have years of radio and podcasting experience.” A Master’s student in Global Media & Digital Communications herself, Noha had previously worked in radio for seven years before joining SOAS, where she hosted her own radio show in Arabic for the Canadian arab diaspora. “I’m interested in connecting people over a shared interest, communities that may be underrepresented, and making room for them to have a voice.” 

Located on the fifth floor of the Russell Square building, the society will continue to broadcast from room 545, its own private audio suite, boasting a range of professional studio equipment. “It’s a space to have a little fun,” jests Noha. “[The society] can also provide good experience for resumes, set students up for better job prospects, and reward them with practical and technical knowledge they may need when they graduate.” 

For her final words, Noha laments about her previous experiences starting in the industry. “I didn’t have mentorship when I started my own radio show in 2015, and it was really hard to figure things out on my own,” she states. “And so, I want to create spaces that allow mentorship to automatically and organically happen.” The society is currently undergoing a visual and media rebrand across all social platforms. An official launch date, during which students can join for free and begin pitching, will be confirmed by late March. 


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