By: Alex Quevillon
A month ago, Metro News broke a feel-good story with Algonquin students at the heart of it.
With 47-year old Stephen McDougall going in for triple bypass heart surgery in early February, Algonquin’s radio program stepped up to deliver a play-by-play broadcast of his son’s hockey game that could be heard in the hospital.
Already proud of his college’s involvement around town, this story further impressed Algonquin President Kent MacDonald.
“I was just really proud of this particular event,” said MacDonald. “When I did happen to see a few faculty members in the hallway, I made it a point to congratulate them. This is one more thing that they do to commit to giving our students a great learning experience.”
“This family was going through a very difficult time, what a touching gesture this was for that dad, the son and his team.”
Colin Teskey, the sports director for CKDJ 107.9 FM at Algonquin, said that there was no hesitation when he found out about this story.
“It was a no-brainer for us to do,” he said. “This is what we’re trying to push; Algonquin College, anything local, and little stories like this. This is what we’re all about.”
“They start playoffs (at the start of March), so we’re going to cover them for the playoffs until they lose.”
Not only did these broadcasts help the family and do a good deed for the community, it could also be a deciding factor as they try to deal with the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission.
“Next year, our license is going to be up,” said Teskey. “We could have volunteers coming in now to the radio station, meaning students won’t get as much airtime, and it isn’t going to be the same environment.”
“If we’re showing to the CRTC that we’re getting into the community, doing local stuff and that we’re actually filling a need, then they might renew or license as a campus instructional station, and allow us to have a dial that goes out all over Ottawa,” he added.
With this great work comes a lot of praise from MacDonald, but he also believes that this type of hands-on project is perfect for media students.
“I thought, ‘what a wonderful learning opportunity this is for our students’, when you can combine it with doing something good for the community,” the president said.
McDougall is just one of many to benefit from good deeds done by Algonquin’s students and faculty.
The school’s United Way drive brings in the most money for charity, but the recent Spread the Net campaign also brought out the charitable side in students.
“We want our students getting involved with organizations and helping out around the community, whether it’s Habitat for Humanity, the Mission downtown, the Food Bank or for children’s foundations,” said MacDonald.
“The impact that our faculty and students have on the community is immeasurable and significant. This is just another example of how Algonquin is helping.”