UMass Boston’s podcast offers fresh voice for Beacons


Temporary logo for the new podcast. Graphic by Mass Media Staff

Katrina Sanville, Arts Editor

In the midst of daily commutes, walking to class or even some downtime to sit around campus, audio entertainment like music, audiobooks, lectures and podcasts can often block out some of the chatter and noise. However, the same music and podcasts can get redundant at best, and downright boring at worst. If this sounds familiar, a new podcast has just started again, and as a bonus, the podcast is hosted, produced and written by UMass Boston students.

The “Student Voice Podcast” aims to be the ideal podcast to supply news and updates to the students and staff of UMass Boston. Whether these updates focus on sports, news relating to UMass Boston, topics relating to Boston as a whole or news in general, the three hosts center each podcast on a few topics in the news to transform the daunting task of being informed into a bite-sized podcast. The podcast also hopes to have interviews with UMass Boston staff and students, as well as residents and figures in Boston, and an anonymous forum for listeners to share ideas for future episodes. As one of the hosts Glen Gjuraj said:

“My hope for the podcast is to be a window to raise awareness and to tell the stories of UMass Boston. […] Personally, I believe we want to find out what students, faculty, academics and the UMass Boston community wants to know, and then work on that. It’s amazing the outcome we can have when people come together. I believe we can truly bring goodness and knowledge.”

The first episode, released on Spotify on Oct. 25, focused primarily on Islamophobia based off the recent announcement that the death penalty may be reinstated for the Boston Bomber. The episode also touched on news closer to home for UMass Boston students, such as the break-in at Harbor Point, HEERF funds, campus construction and some sports news.

I found the first episode of the “Student Voice Podcast” to be extremely engaging and informative! I, like many other students, find it hard to read the news and keep up to date on everything happening in day-to-day life. I occasionally scroll through Twitter or a random news app, however these aren’t the most reliable sources for news, so having this podcast is great to add to my daily rotation.

The three hosts—Glen, Z, and the Mass Media’s own Jose—have incredible banter that makes the podcast all the more enjoyable to listen to. Though the episode began with a focus on the reinstatement of the death penalty for the Boston Bomber, the podcast soon derailed to focus on where the hosts were during the Boston Bombing, as well as a focus on Islamophobia—both in the United States as a whole, as well as in Massachusetts.

One point that was made that particularly stuck with me was the liberalism of Massachusetts often being used as a safety net against Islamophobia, as well as not-so-subtle Islamophobia in daily life. The hosts pointed out how since Massachusetts is often seen as this liberal paradise, many people have a “not me” mindset, where they believe they cannot be Islamophobic because of where they live. However, as the hosts point out, Islamophobia and racism are deeply rooted in our society and that is not something we can ignore.

The hosts—Z especially—also focused on Islamophobia in daily life. She touched on the “random searches” in airports that women who wear hijab have to go through every time they fly; women who do not wear hijab—like Z—do not, even if they have the same last name.

However, I did find it a bit difficult to listen to the podcast due to the muffled audio. This is most likely due to a learning curve of starting a new podcast that most beginners face, and I hope the audio will get better with time, since I did enjoy listening to the hosts and hearing what they had to say.

UMass Boston’s “Student Voice Podcast” is available on Spotify. To get more information and see when new episodes will be released, contact the hosts or share ideas for later episodes, follow the “Student Voice Podcast” Instagram, which is @umbsv.