By: Saije Rusimovici
Editor’s note: Saije Rusimovici is the acting vice president of Creative Design for CMNSU.
The Cherry Pit podcast was born from the ambitions of members of SFU’s Communication Student Union (CMNSU) to combine their production skills with their passion for media studies and create a new form of online community. The podcast, hosted by CMNSU’s communications team, covers a variety of lighthearted and humorous topics. Wanting to break out from the traditional role of a student union, CMNSU aims to reach beyond the confines of the faculty and inspire everyone, not just communication majors, by producing content that has a high entertainment value.
This isn’t the first podcast hosted by CMNSU members. Prior to the creation of The Cherry Pit, CMNSU produced a successful string of episodes of the podcast The Medium, The Message by CMNSU. Despite having an established podcast, the content was primarily focused on educational, communication-related topics. In early 2023, the podcast began to shift from communication to content that anyone, regardless of their major, could enjoy. From this shift came the eventual rebranding into The Cherry Pit in October 2023.
This podcast revamp is looking to be an exciting feat taken on by CMNSU. In addition to the podcast, The Cherry Pit is also the title of an online blog written by the CMNSU communications team. Each post is different, following no specific theme or outline. Writers on the team are free to choose which topics they would like to write about, such as anti-bucket lists, travel tips, and self-care guides. Like the podcast, The Cherry Pit blog is a space for writers to freely express ideas with a hope of inspiring and humouring readers.
Alan Röpke, President of CMNSU, is hopeful about the future of The Cherry Pit. Röpke wants CMNSU to stand out as more than just a student union. “Cherry Pit kind of signifies what we want that growth to look like,” he said. “Simran and her team represent this new wave of individuals who go into the world with a wide range of diverse multimedia skills. CMNSU will advance to be that space where people know of a student union for the content they produce, it’s a way of adapting to both students academic and entertainment needs.”
Simran Mann, vice president of communications for CMNSU and lead podcast host, provided The Peak with a behind-the-scenes look at how the vision for The Cherry Pit became a reality.
The Peak: How did the idea for The Cherry Pit come about?
Simran: In past years, CMNSU’s podcast has mainly catered to communication students, but we really wanted to reach a wider audience this year by moving beyond just academic and career-related topics. So we gave the podcast a full blown makeover! We started with the name, which was actually inspired by me accidentally swallowing a cherry pit during our first brainstorming session. It kind of started as a joke but it stuck.
The Peak: What do you enjoy most about being a podcast host?
Simran: Honestly, I just love being able to sit down with my team [Jane Thompson, Chance Wasnuk, Melody Azimi, and Nercya Kalino] and have conversations about whatever random topic we have picked out for the week. Cherry Pit doesn’t really have a specific focus, which makes recording so fun because we just run with whatever’s on our mind that day.
The Peak: What makes The Cherry Pit unique?
Simran: We’re a student-run podcast, but we don’t really make that our main focus. Since our content is pretty broad, you never know what you’re going to get. Sometimes we don’t even know until we start, but it comes together in the end!
The Peak: What is one of your favourite episodes so far?
Simran: Definitely our second episode, “Things we should collectively leave behind in 2023.” We don’t hold back for this episode, especially on the topic of fashion trends.
The Peak: Why should people listen to The Cherry Pit, and where can they listen/interact with the podcast?
Simran: I feel like The Cherry Pit [is an] easygoing and comfy listen that can appeal to just about anyone. It’s kind of like sitting down and listening to your best friends talk about whatever’s on their mind.
CMNSU members are excited to continue building a community around the podcast and hope to attract listeners from all faculties across the university. In the future, they hope that CMNSU will be known not only for being a student union, but for the entertaining content they produce. The Cherry Pit is intended to be an integral part of CMNSU’s legacy.
Follow, rate, and listen to support The Cherry Pit on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. Follow @cmnsu on Instagram to be notified when a new episode releases and for general updates on other CMNSU initiatives and events.