Credit: Olivia Meis | Mustang News

North Mountain is alive with the sound of advice for freshmen, thanks to English sophomore and resident advisor (RA) Oak Gast and his podcast “Mountaintop.” 

The target audience is the freshmen living in the Santa Lucia residence hall. Gast said the project’s goal is to unify and educate Santa Lucia residents.

“I hope that listeners get to learn more about what’s transpiring around them,” Gast said.  

Gast releases episodes every Sunday, covering announcements for the upcoming week, a recap of the previous week and campus news. The podcast currently streams on YouTube on the “Mountaintop” channel under the search terms “Mountaintop podcast, Cal Poly.” Its team plans to expand to SoundCloud in the near future.

YouTube video

Courtesy Video | Mountaintop

Interviews highlight the RA staff, custodial staff and other figures in housing. Eventually, the “Mountaintop” host said he hopes to feature residents as well.

“Keeping residents engaged and in the loop is such an important part of the role of the resident advisor, and [resident advisors] do have latitude in how they share information,” University Housing Marketing Coordinator Julia Bluff said.

Gast was inspired to create the podcast while training to be an RA. A podcast presented an easily-accessible solution to sharing information with residents. 

“I figured that not only was [the podcast] a unique medium, but a fun way to hopefully unite SLNM further,” Gast said.

Gast and his rotating fellow RA guests record with a simple setup: one USB microphone and a pop filter. With a high release schedule and varied collection of content, Gast said it is imperative that the setup be easily transportable.

“I record wherever the conversation takes me, be that in my own room away from the noisy windows, in an office or even a study lounge when recording a group,” Gast said. 

The RA staff of Santa Lucia North Mountain conceptualizes episodes together and Gast edits the podcast himself.

“This podcast is one of the ways Oak Gast taken creative initiative to reach out to his residents more informally,” Bluff said. 

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