Campus radio station reaches out to the student body
By Meredith Schellin
Despite its lack of popularity in recent years, Asbury’s campus radio station, the WACW, is putting forth its best efforts to increase its listening audience among students by broadening its programs and offering more opportunities for students to get involved.
According to the WACW’s news director, Gabe Willison, the radio station used to broadcast on a local AM frequency. The WACW letters were the station’s call letters when they still broadcasted on this frequency. “W” stood for a station east of the Mississippi River and “AC” stood for Asbury College.
However, WACW no longer broadcasts on a frequency. “This was expensive, and AM frequencies don’t have the best audio quality anyway,” Willison said. “We’re now completely digital, which is where the industry is heading.”
In order to maintain their digital broadcasting, the WACW can be accessed through campus cable channel 11 or wacw. com, along with the Asbury app and several other outlets. “Students spend most of their time on campus where they are within range of a computer or television,” Willison said. “Since even radios in cars are becoming a thing of the past, students can connect their mobile device and take WACW with them wherever they go.”
While it might be easier for the WACW production staff to be accessible online, some students believe it might be easier if the station were available on a local frequency; others simply do not know that the station exists. “Because it’s on the TV, I didn’t really know about it,” said freshman Sarah George. “I’m watching TV on my TV, not listening to music, and I don’t really listen to the radio I just use my iPod.”
Sophomore Cassidy Flynn also confessed that she didn’t even know she was listening to WACW when she first stumbled upon it. “I don’t think I really knew what it was at first and really I don’t really have time to listen to it on the TV,” Flynn said. “I would maybe listen to it on the radio if I could.”
Sophomore Isaiah Turner is aware of the campus radio station but rarely listens to it. “Last year, I tried listening to WACW a few times, but there were lots of pop songs that I am not really a fan of, so I quit listening,” Turner said. “I heard that it has changed this year, so maybe I need to listen more.”
Not only do many students not understand how to listen to the station, but many of them are unaware that they are actu- ally listening to the station when they walk through places like the Miller Communications building or when they are sitting and waiting at the clinic. Additionally, many students are unaware of events that WACW hosts, which was evident by the lack of attendance shown at their recent kickoff event at FroJos, a local frozen yogurt establishment.
Senior Gwen Cipkowski, WACW’s station manager and production director, realizes that many students are unaware of the radio station’s accessibility, variety of music, programming and events. “This year we have really made it look more like a radio station by adding block programming with hours of different genres and also adding sports and news segments and commercials,” Cipkowski said.
Both Cipkowski and Willison would like to see student become more than just listeners of the radio station and express a desire to see the campus community become more involved with WACW. Both of them believe this will also generate more of the student body listening to the station. “WACW is and can be improved by getting more people involved,” Cipkowski said. “It takes money and volunteers to make it better, and the more people that learn about us, listen, volunteer or come to our events, the better. It just takes word of mouth.”
The WACW has made a variety of changes throughout the last several years and continues to strive to be well-accepted by the Asbury community. Their desire is not only that students will continue to listen to the station, or even start to listen for the first time, but also that they can provide a place for students to get involved in as well.
“We, as staff, don’t want this station to be a compilation of our four iTunes playlists,” Willison said. “Instead, we want input from everyone on campus. WACW is a great opportunity we have here on campus. Whether you’re looking for a sta- tion with a good variety or looking to get involved, don’t miss the opportunity we have at Asbury.”