Campus Life Podcast Packs a Punch

Rob Quinones, Mr. Jeff Dess and Antonio Talemo (l to r), the trio who run the NJCU's Campus Life podcast. Photo courtesy of Rob Quinones
Rob Quinones, Mr. Jeff Dess and Antonio Talemo (l to r), the trio who run the NJCU’s Campus Life podcast. Photo courtesy of Rob Quinones

–By Steven Rodas–

“Ladies and gentlemen the office of campus life podcast is back! Welcome to 2014, it’s your main man Mr. Jeff Dess with Antonio Talemo and Rob “RoQu” Quinones.”

For those who are unfamiliar, that is how NJCU Campus Life kicked off this year’s first podcast promising students the latest updates in upcoming events, entertaining improvisation and countless giveaways.

The trio, who recently started posting their broadcasts on SoundCloud last October, already sound like veterans with well-produced and brief energetic podcasts landing anywhere from four to seven minutes. The team has undeniable chemistry partly due to a unified goal of enhancing the student experience.

“Everything from a public speaking workshop to a comedian serves a purpose, be it educational, personal development, or social to combat the stress of classes and schoolwork,” said Quinones when asked to name the most important thing they’ve covered so far.

Initially Jeffery Dessources, assistant director of Campus Life from Jersey City, and 23 year-old graduate student Antonio Talemo from North Bergen handled the broadcasts. Assistant Director of Campus Life Robert “RoQu” Quinones, from North Bergen stepped in for Dessources in mid-November before officially joining the team. The Office of Campus Life, Dean of Students and the Center for Student Success sponsor the podcasts. Last year the Campus Life hosted well-received podcasts like “Is Drake Too Soft for Men” and “Where Are We Going for Spring Break?”

“My favorite moments are the outtakes and the improvisation, “said Dessources “We have a loose script and the rest is purely improvisational. With that said, you never know what funny thing is going to come out.”

Talemo recalls the time last semester when “Mr. Jeff Dess” challenged NJCU President Dr. Sue Henderson to a dance off at the “24Seven Sickle Cell Line Dancing Marathon.”

“I was really hoping the president would have heard and done it. One can only dream,” said Talemo.

Part of the podcast’s success, last weeks podcast already reaching 123 views, has come from the team’s ability to relate to student’s hectic schedules and creating an outlet that can be visited at each person’s convenience.

“My one and only task when they hired me was to get students to our events,” said Talemo back when the podcast was merely the idea of Campus Life’s Melvanie Williams.

Melvanie Williams, better known as “Mel,” works as the evening coordinator of the Office of Campus Life. Williams produces the podcasts equipped with Yetti microphones made by Blue, a MacBook Pro and Logic software. Williams also wants students to know about the Campus Life YouTube channel featuring videos, commercials and campus activities.

“If you listen to the music behind the podcast, that’s an original instrumental produced by us for the Office of Campus Life, as our own background music,” said Williams. “We are also working on a theme song for Campus Life.  We have a lot in store.”

“Mr. Jeff Dess” added that the podcast hopes to live-stream events in the future by partnering with various event coordinators. The Campus Life Podcast is the only current broadcasting outlet at NJCU. NJCU’s Gothic Knight Radio (WGKR) and SGO’s podcast went off air some years back. Campus Life hopes students’ work to bring back such outlets.

Talemo encourages students to take seven minutes out of their week to hear the podcast and learn about their campus while taking advantage of giveaways that sometimes surprise even him. So far such giveaways have included CD’s, sweatshirts and movie tickets. Talemo jokingly said he wouldn’t be surprised if the guys gave away their cars.

The podcast plans on getting into details about events such as a community service trip to Midland, Texas as part of “Habitat for Humanity,” which is now taking donations, to build houses for families in need. Other March events, as part of “Women’s HERstory” Month, include “All Sisters Hip Hop Cypher” on March 6, “Lobby Concert Series present TESS” on March 19 and “BEYONCE: Is she the Queen Bey of Feminism” on March 24.

“Jeff has mentioned a few events in which the Office of Campus Life plan on hosting but that’s just the tip of the ice berg, we have a lot of exciting programs planned for the spring semester, but if you want more details you will have to listen to our weekly podcast,” said Williams.

Make sure to listen to the NJCU Campus Life’s podcast every week by visiting To learn about donating for “Habitat for Humanity” or for information call the Office of Campus Life at (201) 200-3585 or stop by the Gilligan Student Union Building, Room 111. Students can also follow Campus Life on Instagram and Twitter @NJCUCampusLife.