University ‘team’ provides service to community

Judy Stiles - General Manager, KGCS TV

Judy Stiles – General Manager, KGCS TV

Last year, I marked a milestone at Missouri Southern. Twenty years of working on campus. I don’t want to dwell on what’s happened over the past 20 years, although I’ve been fortunate to witness first-hand the tremendous growth and changes on campus. What I would like to do is to put some observations about Southern’s ties to the community into perspective.

When I started working here, my title at the television station and KXMS was “Community Service Director.” Some people may ask, “Why the community service title?” The simple answer is to say that broadcasters are obligated to serve their community. The Federal Communications Commission issues licenses to radio and television stations to serve the “public interest.” But, beyond that, I think the community service approach mirrors Southern’s role in this region.

One of the first tasks I undertook when I started working at Southern was to produce and host the “News makers” television program. That part of my job has continued over the years, even as my title and responsibilities have changed. I’ve been able to visit with close to 1200 people from off-campus. By giving such an opportunity to share stories and information over the airwaves, KGCS serves the community. The television station provides valuable community service through other programs and productions. KGCS takes seriously the commitment to operate in the public interest.

On a broader scale, consider the role of the University. People may use the term “town and gown” to separate a community and a university. Southern has always had close ties to the “town,” and they go beyond the role played by our broadcast outlets.

Think about the many departments on campus that host special events for area students and adults. Think about the cultural and athletic activities that attract local residents. And, think about the role that students play in the community outreach.

Yes, Southern students reach out and serve the community. You see them volunteering at community agencies or working at a wide variety of jobs in town. When someone finds out that a student attends Southern, that student becomes an ambassador for the University. So, consider yourself part of the “team.” No matter what your role on campus, you’re helping Missouri Southern serve the community.