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Keeping radio relevant: RedHawk Radio’s 25 hour Talk-a-Thon

Exec members of RedHawk Radio pose for a photo with President Crawford after his segment on the annual Talk-a-Thon.
Exec members of RedHawk Radio pose for a photo with President Crawford after his segment on the annual Talk-a-Thon.

Members of WMSR RedHawk Radio spent the past weekend mediating debates between professors, talking about cryptids and eating hot wings with Miami University President Gregory Crawford — all to raise money for the Oxford community. 

RedHawk Radio held its third annual 24-hour Talk-a-Thon from Nov. 4 and5 to raise money for Talawanda Oxford Pantry & Social Services (TOPSS). 

“The Talk-a-Thon was bigger and better than ever before,” said Karsen Davidson, a senior double majoring in political science and strategic communications, and the event coordinator for the Talk-a-Thon.

Segments started from 1 p.m. on Saturday and ended on Sunday at 1 p.m. with an executive recap highlighting some of the key moments from the event.

“Professor Debates,” hosted by Henri Robbins, kicked off the Talk-a-Thon. Robbins, a senior double majoring in journalism and media and communication, mediated debates between professor of art Robert Robbins and associate professor of media, journalism and film Mack Hagood, who had a lot to say about his questions. 

Questions included whether water is wet, where they would go if they could travel to the past, the best way to cook an egg, if Bigfoot exists and if Mario is morally in the right when he jumps on Koopas.

“Water is not wet. The water is the vehicle that causes something to be wet, and the water has to be applied to something and that something then therefore becomes wet,” Robert Robbins said. “You can't apply water to water. So, water is not wet. That's my stance.”  

Robbins and Hagood both agreed that water isn’t wet and had a lively discussion about how we perceive wetness. They agreed on almost every topic, asked clarifying questions and gave in-depth answers to each. The only topic they disagreed on was Mario’s morality when he jumps on Koopas. 

“A pacifist Mario would deny millions upon millions of children and adults alike a lot of fun, and because those Koopas and whatnot are digital beings for whom we so far are not aware that they have phenomenology of their own, I feel like it’s morally fine for Mario to bring so much joy by destroying those digital baddies,” Hagood said. 

Photo by Luke Macy | The Miami Student
President Crawford sat down with RedHawk Radio member Henri Robbins for a "Legally Distinct Hot Ones" conversation.

At 4:30 p.m. Henri Robbins hosted a “Legally Distinct Hot Ones” segment with Crawford. Although Crawford didn’t actually eat any wings for the portion, he answered many of Robbins’ questions.

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A large part of the interview was focused on Crawford's favorite pieces of media. He talked about how much he loves the Beach Boys, Eagles and Jimmy Buffett, historical fiction books and shows like “All the Light We Cannot See,” and submarine movies, which are Crawford’s favorite.

Robbins also asked Crawford about what’s hot right now in music. Robbins brought up Taylor Swift, and Crawford was only aware of a few of her songs — “Fearless” is his favorite of hers — but he respected fans’ love for the artist.

“I’m kind of a Swiftie, but maybe in a different way,” Crawford said. “She is quite the entrepreneur.”

Robbins also asked Crawford if he had any favorite rap artists. Crawford didn’t, so Robbins played a few songs to give the president a taste of the genre. First, he played “See You Again” by Tyler, the Creator, which Crawford thought was “fine.” Next, he played a song by MF DOOM that Crawford was more receptive to.

“Like the rhythm there. My goodness,” Crawford said. “I got a great education from you here.”

Crawford and Henri Robbins also talked about sports and Miami, as Crawford had just been at the Mid-American Conference field hockey tournament where Miami won its sixth title. 

Crawford also talked about his love for his hometown of Cleveland’s three major sports teams. He also discussed some upcoming Miami highlights like the Freedom Summer Award and the new Richard M. McVey Data Science Building.

Sunday morning had two segments before the event had finished.

At 8 a.m. “Dumbfounded,” hosted by Nya Hodge and Ellie Irish, aired and covered a range of topics that were focused primarily on pop culture. Hodge and Irish discussed big names such as Taylor Swift, her recent album “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” and how Swift has taken a different approach when releasing music.

“She has an album every two years since the beginning of her career except recently her fame has increased exponentially where she has dropped an album every year if not every six to eight months,” Hodge said.

Hodge and Irish also asked entertaining questions, like if Wes Anderson would swing his bob to “212” by Banks, then shifted to a conversation on how much of an icon Banks is despite her problematic tendencies.

Hodge pointed out that there are artists who have said and done much worse. She mentioned  Matty Healy, the lead singer of The 1975, who has a reputation for being prejudiced.

“Matty Healy is trash,” Hodge said. “He is a garbage individual, like he is playing into it very well.”

At 9am, “The Debrief” was hosted by Mary Hines and Connor Donaldson, who asked many open-ended questions about a wide range of topics.

Donaldson and Hines started off with conversation about foods, including some that they grew up eating. Most of the conversation was about the fast food places where they eat and some of the dishes that they love.

“I said onion rings for fried food,” Hines said. “I know you hate me, but have you been to Burger King and tried their onion rings? Not just an onion ring, but a flavored onion ring. I can't really eat it anymore because it hurts my tummy, but I will mess up my stomach for some Burger King onion rings.”

Hines and Donaldson shifted to talking about pop culture moments that had altered their brain chemistry, from music moments to artists they enjoy. 

With the remaining time, Hines and Donaldson talked about movies they’ve watched. They also talked about the new “Hunger Games” film and recapped some of the past “Hunger Games” movies that they watched. The duo also talked about and played Olivia Rodrigo’s song, “Can’t Catch Me Now,” which was released for the new movie.  

After 24 hours of nonstop radio segments, the exec team recapped it all for their listeners. 

Highlights included “Legally Distinct Hot Ones,” “An Evening with the Editor” and “Dumbfounded.” 

By the end of the 25 hours, WMSR had raised an estimated $1,500. 

“We are overwhelmed with gratitude that our community was able to help us give back to our own community, and particularly the Talawanda Oxford Pantry and Social Services, which helps to feed and shelter our community,” said Davidson. 

Half of the funds raised will go to TOPSS, and the rest will go toward maintaining RedHawk Radio.