Allie Tooley and Kennedy Crider laugh and bicker back and forth as they brainstorm possible names for their podcast–a shared dream that has been several years in the making.
“Kennedy had this dream for a podcast that she had been talking about for a while, but it just kind of got to the point where we thought, ‘why don’t we just do it?’” said Tooley.
Crider lovingly referred to the project as her “four-year frustration.”
The podcast, which was eventually named “Loose Leaf Tea & You with Kennedy and Allie,” is meant to be a means of conversation and communication between the Trevecca students to the administration and faculty.
“We want to have a space for conversation where people from different thought-patterns or opinions can come together and talk,” said Crider. “I think in our generation and culture, that is really lost.”
The first two episodes were released on Spotify on Oct. 29 and 30 . They hope to keep a consistent schedule after, posting new episodes weekly.
Tooley, a social justice major, and Crider, an intercultural studies major, are both seniors who have been around the block a few times at Trevecca, allowing them to be familiar with the recurring topics of conversation on campus.
“We really don’t want [the podcast] to be an echo-chamber of opinions you already agree with,” said Crider. “We also don’t want to push whatever agenda we may have, even if it is subconscious.”
Crider and Tooley said they want the format of the podcast to be interview based, as to let the conversational aspect of the project stand out. They are planning on inviting a wide variety of people from the Trevecca community to come on the podcast as guests, whether it be faculty members, student leaders, or even university employees in other capacities.
“I just would love to have Ms. Pricilla from the Caf on our podcast sometime,” said Tooley.
The podcast is not going to be officially affiliated with Trevecca.
“It is just two students doing a podcast,” said Crider. “The motive behind that was wanting [the podcast] to be an avenue that was not censored through any organized thing on campus for students to be listened to.”
While the two of them do want to go over relevant topics in a timely manner, Crider and Tooley also want to maintain a comedic air when appropriate.
“Our hope is to make it kind of comedic, and then move from that into a conversation with other students,” said Tooley.
One of the ongoing conversations the pair wanted to touch on was food on campus, and how that connects to the community outside of Trevecca’s walls.
“We want to connect what’s happening in our caf to the wider Nashville food crisis,” said Tooley. “Trevecca is located in a food desert, and yet there is an abundance of food on campus that is wasted and coming from unethical sources.”
Zack Church, a resident director and coordinator for community life, said that a conversation and community-driven podcast, like the one Tooley and Crider are working on, has the potential to be beneficial to Trevecca as long as they have a passion for the content they are putting out, and if it is in a format that is easy to consume.
“Especially in the current climate of COVID-19, virtual interaction and virtual community building are critical,” said Church.
Crider and Tooley said they have noticed that, while there are ways for students and faculty on campus to engage in conversation, there are no significant and accessible avenues for response and engagement.
“We are more disconnected bodily on campus, and increasingly have more need for conversation,” said Tooley. “But the avenues that we are taking [to have conversations] are not cohesive or accessible.”
Church also highlighted the fact that a podcast presents content in a way that is easy to consume, especially for commuting students.
“I think podcasts are a media form that we are not utilizing at the university to the fullest extent,” said Church.
Both Tooley and Crider said that they feel a heightened responsibility to distribute the power of voice to other people and groups on campus who are also trying to foster conversation, with the intention that students are able to have a space to dream up solutions rather than shouting into a void.
“I hope that students who feel like their voice goes unheard, will hear their voice [though the podcast] and recognize that they are not alone,” said Tooley.