Jessica Foy, ’20 and Lindsey Andreana, ’20, have the solution for those in need of a lighthearted moment or some comedic relief.
“Sorry We’re Open,” a new podcast produced by Foy and Andreana, focuses on various college topics the two feel are relevant to their audience. They banter and joke about anything from late-night texts, to library etiquette, or memes.
The pair addresses more serious issues, too. Recently, Foy and Andreana spoke about power dynamics in relationships, and they plan to cover issues such as mental health, therapy and sexuality in the future.
Foy and Andreana said they want their listeners to be inspired to have these worthwhile conversations on their own time.
As a Gryphon, Foy said she has noticed that first-years are concerned with social media activity. In an entirely new environment at school, it is easy for them to be discouraged by the discrepancies between their realities and the posts they see.
“Everyone looks like they’re having the time of their lives,” Foy said.
Andreana said — especially at Lehigh — students can feel swept up in the partying culture. Although she and Foy touch on these topics, they want to use their podcast as a platform to be more authentic about the reality of college life.
“We wanted to kind of open up the floor for people to have these real and genuine conversations,” Andreana said.
The concept of “Sorry We’re Open” began as a fun thought. Andreana and Foy would joke around, saying that a conversation of theirs’ would make a comical podcast. When the two realized they could be good hosts together, Andreana wanted to make their idea a reality.
As general manager of the radio station WLVR, Andreana has access to a microphone and other sound equipment.
“I was like, if you actually want to do this, we can make it happen,” she said.
Foy agreed without hesitation.
Since its inception this past summer, Andreana and Foy said “Sorry We’re Open” has exceeded their expectations. Andreana said people they do not know have started listening to their podcasts, and “Sorry We’re Open” is expanding to an audience beyond Lehigh.
“The friends that I would force to listen to it every week would listen, but now at least a hundred people are listening to every episode,” Foy said.
In the future, Foy and Andreana speculate covering their transition from graduation to “adult-life.”
“Sorry We’re Open” can be accessed on Apple Podcasts or on Spotify.
Another program by Lehigh students, “The Legendary Podcast,” publicizes unique perspectives of Lehigh community members. The show is produced by Ben Blackwell, ‘21, Adrian Suarez, ‘22, and Matthew Gunton ‘22.
“It’s really a learning opportunity for everyone who tunes in to our podcast, and it’s a learning opportunity for us,” Blackwell said. “Our podcast is about finding unique voices and giving them a platform to tell their stories.”
Gunton and Suarez have long valued the importance of a quality conversation. Last year, the two were at dinner with a friend and fell into an interesting discussion about feminism.
Gunton later told Suarez he wanted to keep having conversations like this, and the two decided to use a podcast as a formal platform.
However, when they told Blackwell they planned to record on their phones, he was horrified.
“I nearly had a conniption,” Blackwell said.
Blackwell is passionate about audio engineering and offered to help Suarez and Gunton record with his sound equipment. Two months ago, they began producing the podcast.
“The Legendary Podcast” always begins with “True Confessions,” a game featured on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. “The Legendary Podcast” hosts aim to use “True Confessions” to make their guests feel more comfortable when they begin to record.
In “True Confessions,” the podcast guest and hosts each tell a one-sentence story about themselves, and the stories can be true or false. The listeners have 60 seconds to ask that person questions and then guess whether the story is made up or not.
Then, the guest can dive into the more serious topics they wish to discuss.
Suarez said one of his favorite episodes so far was the one in which Mohsen Mahdawi, ‘22, discussed his experiences growing up as a Palestinian refugee.
Mahdawi was accompanied by his girlfriend, Nadine Clopton, ‘19 ‘20G.
Clopton is Jewish and both she and Mahdawi are peace advocates. Suarez said an open conversation like theirs can bridge social divides.
“It’s the kind of thing I’m really proud we’re able to broadcast out there,” Gunton said.
Recently, the “The Legendary Podcast” team was contacted by WLVR. The station is allowing the students to use their technology and studio to record and is issuing them time on the air.
Gunton is enthusiastic about the podcast’s progress.
“As long as people keep wanting to be on the show, we’ll probably keep doing it,” he said. “Lehigh is such a diverse place, it kind of feels like a duty to go and seek out people who are different from us.”
“The Legendary Podcast” can be accessed on Spotify.