It is the job of the Department of Safety and Security to keep the Bowdoin community safe. This year, Security has also made it its job to keep the Bowdoin community entertained.

On their WBOR 91.1 FM show "Listen!" which airs from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursdays, Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols and Assistant Director of Safety and Security Mike Brown try to do both. Their show combines music, guest interviews, and discussion linked by a common theme of educating listeners about issues relating to their safety and well-being.

"Every single show we do...there's a major safety theme to it," Nichols said. "But we don't bludgeon people with it or lecture people about safety, because that's a major turn-off."

"We mix up the content of the show quite a bit," he said. "We play a lot of music, we have some laughs, we have a lot of guests in, students come in...we try to have a local flavor to it."

Nichols and Brown play a wide assortment of music, ranging from Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald to classic jazz to contemporary rock. The diversity of selection is due in part to a feature the hosts call "listen roulette," where a genre, band, album, and track are chosen "at random."

They have also played songs from campus groups Young Explosive Soldiers (YES) and the Day Jobs, as well as the Bowdoin Meddiebempsters, who gave a live concert on the air.

But the guests on "Listen!" are not all musicians. Staying faithful to their theme of educating listeners, the hosts frequently welcome College and local authorities who specialize in specific aspects of safety and wellness. For example, during Fire Prevention Week, Nichols and Brown invited Deputy Chief of Fire Prevention Jeff Emerson of the Brunswick Department of Fire and Rescue into the studio to talk about issues relating to avoiding inadvertent blazes.

On another occasion, they had Sexual Assault Support Services of Midcoast Maine (SASSMM) director Sue Dreher give on-air advice to students on how to avoid becoming victims of sexual assault. Thursday's show featured Dr. Jeff Benson, who offered students his "top 10 things college students need to know about their health and safety."

"It's a safety message not just in the sense of 'hey, lock your doors, don't leave your iPod lying around,'" said Brown. "It's more things that are relevant to the campus community."

The DJs recently attempted to engage the audience and stimulate awareness by having an on-air highway safety contest moderated by Maine State Highway Trooper Tim Marks, who tested the knowledge of student participants and the program's co-hosts. Brown lost to Nichols in a heated competition that Brown claimed was rigged.

The co-hosts professed that the high point of the year for "Listen!" was the February 2 show, when Special Assistant to the President of Multicultural Affairs Roy Partridge joined Nichols and Brown for a discussion of social issues with regard to racism in honor of the advent of Black History Month. They also aired Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech in its entirety.

According to Nichols, the co-hosts are "very close" to making "Listen!" available on Podcast, which would allow listeners to download shows on to their computers and mp3 players. Thursday's show was recorded in anticipation of this new advance.

Nichols, who possesses a deep, rich voice, is no stranger to the radio studio. He worked at an Augusta radio station through high school and college before being hired full-time as a DJ when he graduated. The station broadcast to several counties, and was one of Maine's first FM stations.

At WBOR, Nichols plays to a much smaller audience, but he doesn't mind. With "Listen!" he is able to use the skills he learned from his first profession to help him excel at his current one.

"This is a fine transition for me," he said. "We're always brainstorming ideas within the department to get the safety message out."