WOO 91 — Wooster’s Sound Alternative (WCWS) will host its third Annual College Radio Day Fest next Tuesday, Oct. 1. Joining college stations from more than 500 schools in over 30 countries, our local Wooster station will recognize the creative spirit of college radio on one united day of celebration. From 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., WCWS will provide great music and food on Lowry’s back patio as it introduces the campus community to the studio’s new home in Lowry Center and showcases the spirit of the station.
College Radio Day was founded in Dec. 2010 by Dr. Rob Quicke of William Paterson University and has become a highly-anticipated international event, said Jeremy Ludemann, general manager of WCWS.
“[The] movement was started as a reaction to the decline in college radio stations,” said Ludemann. “Stations were being sold for the purpose of balancing budgets at colleges and universities. Colleges needed the funds, [and] they saw the radio station as a nonessential…There was [also] a national attitude that college radio may need to go [exclusively] online. The whole point of [this event] is to really bring attention to college radio as a form of independent creativity and local expression — and [as] something that needs to be preserved.”
According to collegeradioday.com, “College radio is the only free live medium brave enough to play unsigned, local and independent artists on a regular basis…Put simply, college radio is an important part of the media landscape because of its unique and fearless programming.” WOO 91 is trying to capture that spirit on campus with their Tuesday event.
“We really want to showcase independent creativity,” said Ludemann. “[To that end], we’ll have some college music [playing at the event], representing our community through our bands.”
Attendees can expect to hear local talent such as Stop. Motion. — who played Party on the Green — and Ben Turner ’14 on the guitar. There will be free food from local restaurants, Common Grounds and the Barbecue Club.
However, the event is particularly important because it also serves as the grand opening for WOO 91’s new state-of-the-art studio in the basement of Lowry Center.
“We’re going to have tours of the station. We’re going to be showing off what broadcast media is all about at the College of Wooster… [If you go to the event], you’re going to learn a lot about what this station means, to our college, [and] to our community,” said Ludemann.
Despite the national decline of college radio stations, WOO 91 is fortunate to be thriving. For the third year in a row, it has made the top 20 list of The Princeton Review’s Most Popular College Radio Stations. A huge factor in the station’s success has in support of Wooster’s administration.
“There are [many] schools that are losing their stations, so it does mean a lot to have an administration [and] faculty [that has] been quite supportive,” said Ludemann. “They showed [their support] by working on this new place [in Lowry Center]. I think they gave us a huge vote of confidence. And now our goal as a station is to make sure that we represent their investment properly.”
Ludemann hopes the event will communicate the general feeling of excitement that surrounds the station this year.
“No one has bought us; no one has sold our license,” he said. “We are [still] here. We have gotten great support from the administration, and we’re ready to roll.”