The Yurt Media Center
The Yurt Media Center is home to Hampshire College's web-based radio station, Yurt Radio. To tune into the station, connect to the live stream originating at the following IP address: [188.8.131.52:8000] -- or, just go to Yurt Radio's main web page, yurt.hampshire.edu, and follow the instructions there.
Phone number: +1.413.559.6766
There are no restrictions on content or format, besides the college-wide community norms. If you'd like to become a DJ, or have any questions, feel free to email radiocontact at hampshire dot edu
The Yurt Media Center and Yurt Radio are both maintained and operated by the Yurt Student Group. This group is dedicated to making the Yurt easy to use and easy to access for Hampshire's resident musicians, DJ's, pundits, commentators and radio-lovers, while retaining a sense of organization and professionalism.
About the Yurt
In 1993, a small group of Hampshire students, observing that the campus lacked a student union or other student-run common space, began planning the development of what is today the Yurt. The stated goals of their project were to “explore the processes of experiential education, community building and the influences of architectural space on education.” The “architectural space” they created is now an eight-sided Hampshire landmark, and the center of a growing student community.
The Yurt is currently the home of Hampshire’s student-run internet radio station, radio.hampshire.edu. It is a space where students can share ideas, music, and creative projects with the Hampshire community and the world. Not only that, but the high-quality stereo system, turntables, mixer, excellent acoustics, and other equipment make it a perfect place for students to just “hang out” and listen to music with friends.
Every student who wishes to broadcast over the Yurt Live feed follows these basic guidelines. First, the student must contact the Yurt signers via email, develop content, and find a time-slot they can occupy on the calendar. Second, they learn how to operate the broadcast equipment within the Yurt via on-line video tutorials and hands-on training from our staff advisor and signers. Finally, they broadcast their shows live and record them for our growing podcast archive. Through this process they acquire both technical skills and the creative and organizational know-how to create their own, personalized radio programs.
The duties of Yurt Media Center signers are to maintain the equipment, monitor the broadcast feed, and manage programming so that as many people as possible have access to a clean, well-run space. They also organize two open meetings of the student group and any other interested persons every semester, featuring food, drink, and music.
The mission of the Yurt Media Center is to foster connections both within the Hampshire community and between the Hampshire community and the rest of the world. To achieve this, the Yurt broadcasts a continuous stream of audio all over the world via the internet, accessible at radio.hampshire.edu. There are no restrictions on content beyond Hampshire’s community norms, and so the Yurt is home to all varieties of programming, including music, comedy, political discussion and debate, poetry, public service announcements, and news. It is our goal that, as we continue to expand our programming line-up, the Yurt will play an increasingly functional role in the daily lives of Hampshire students, serving not only as a source of entertainment, but also as a source of information.
An Open Space
The Yurt was envisioned as an open, communal space from the moment of it’s inception, and we intend to keep it that way. The Yurt and it’s equipment is available to each and every student on campus. All one has to do to qualify for a time slot is fill out a show request form, read and sign a responsibility agreement, and complete a technical training tutorial. Additionally, the space is available upon request for non-broadcast purposes--such as recordings, live shows, and student group meetings.
The Yurt signers would like you to know the following:
Community engagement is at the core of the Yurt Media Center’s mission statement. To be more specific, we provide not only a world-wide public forum for all community members to utilize, but a number of other services, too. We research and promote on-campus events over the air, pulling largely from the public events calendar, but also from information we receive directly through e-mail, flyers, on-air phone calls, and in person. We provide access to professional-quality equipment such as turntables, microphones, mixers, and so forth. We provide technical training to all our DJ’s that they can apply later in life, and educate them in the basics of web-based radio. Finally, we act not only as Hampshire’s voice in the wider world, but our programming often features music and information that originated far from Hampshire and may not have been widely available on-campus before.
A Longer History
How does the Hampshire campus come to have a yurt? The answer lies in the imagination of a group of Hampshire students. This project, student-initiated, student-designed and student-constructed, originated in 1993 as a group independent study project. The goals of the project were to "explore the processes of experiential education, community building and the influences of architectural space on education." (Project Notebook)
Writing to potential donors, the group said, "Our purpose in choosing a round, wood structure is to provide an aesthetically pleasing meeting space that can't easily be broken down into distinct or hierarchical sections..." In order to make this dream a reality, the group tackled not only architectural design, but fund-raising, negotiation with the college administration, obtaining building permits, and, finally, construction. The construction itself was a challenge: since the Yurt is round, there are very few right angles in the building. Many members of the community--students, faculty, staff, departments (including Physical Plant, of course), and businesses from the wider community contributed time, work, money and in-kind gifts to make the project a success.
The Yurt was completed in 1998 and is open to any member of the Hampshire community. Currently, it houses the on-campus radio station. It is located in the wooded area between Franklin Patterson Hall and Cole Science Center. If you have never been in there, take a look--it is beautiful, and a wonderful example of student initiative and community building.
A full calendar of Yurt Radio's scheduled shows can be found here!
Due to the long history of the Yurt, and the many, many, people who have signed for it, the details of where every piece of equipment came from are incomplete. When in doubt, it probably came from the Media Basement.
1 Mongolian-themed forest hut (shared with the entire campus + community) 3 Apple G4s 1 14-channel Mackie mixing board 3 Apple keyboards 1 phone hooked up to a flashing light 2 turntables and a mixer lots and lots of cables assorted records, CDs, and tapes donated by various parties over the years