Anyone who has studied, met with a group, or ate in the Student Center is familiar with the bizarre and incoherent music selection in the building. If you accidentally forget your headphones when you go there to study, I’m really sorry. Enjoy the strange mix of 80s pop music, Kenny G, and maybe (if you’re lucky) something from the last decade, and try to hold onto your sanity.
To clear a common misconception up right away, Oredigger Radio (played in the Student and Rec Centers) is not the same as Mines Internet Radio. MIR is produced and hosted by students, and offers music shows for many tastes and some podcast-style talk shows. Oredigger Radio isn’t controlled by anyone. What Mines student would play Madonna’s “Borderline,” followed by Starship’s “We Built This City?” I’m not trying to discredit the artistry behind our favorite power ballads and that one smooth jazz song that seems to always be playing when you walk in, but the least we can ask for as students and patrons of the Student Center is a coherent playlist.
The most irritating part of all of this is that we have evidence that the mysterious entity that is Oredigger Radio at least has access to songs that people actually listen to. The Rec Center playlist is well suited for the environment, with high-energy bangers that make using the Stairmaster slightly less depressing. The Student Center playlist is trying to strike the balance between classic jams and more laid back music that people can study to, but the playlist completely swings and misses on this goal. As Ben Wyatt says in Season 6 Episode 17 of Parks and Recreation, “setlist flow is very important, I mean we’re basically vibe curators.” To me, the vibe curated in the student center is one of confusion and surrealism, with the playlist transitioning from Ariana Grande to some obscure jazz song and leaving the listener wondering if they blacked out for a few minutes.
Nothing’s wrong with 80s rock ballads, smooth jazz, or post-2000 pop, but consistency is needed in a playlist to make it an enjoyable listening experience. Any one of those genres is fine to play in an environment like the Student Center, but mashing them all together makes for a jarring experience. While there are a lot more pressing and important issues facing this campus, I don’t know a single person who hasn’t complained about Oredigger Radio and it’s seemingly random music choices. So stand up, call your Senator, and ask that this musical injustice be righted, for all our sakes.