This year has been a big year for WRGW – no one can deny that. After a long wait, we finally got our gold – the new station, thanks to a lot of hard work by the WRGW board, and $32,000.
The station made many other strides as well. The station is played on the ground floor of the Marvin Center at times. We have advertising in The Hatchet and a new logo. This is all great, but no one is satisfied.
Go around now, ask the whole undergraduate population, and I’m sure the majority of the students never have listened to the station. And the students who might listen – after hearing the station in the Marvin Center – probably wouldn’t listen anymore.
Now, this semester, I was eager and storming to have an amazing show. During the first meeting, most of us were upset by the new “rules.” They seemed unwarranted, not representative of the people, and unfriendly to diversity, which is the single most defining aspect of college radio.
I am an underground hip-hop disc jockey, and my show was to include live hip-hop performances, many guest appearances from the GW community, some call-in segments, comedy segments, freestyling, DJ competition, contests and many other things. It was going to be a great year, but I felt that these new rules would detract from the whole theme of my new show and limit my creativity and objectives.
I was not the only one.
Many people who used to be the heart of the station decided not to be a part of the new WRGW. And those new students who would make great additions would not join because of the poor reputation of the station among students.
Now we have, simply stated, mostly inferior shows. The only shows that are good don’t follow any of the rules and are situated in late-night time slots, when not enough people are listening to foster any school spirit.
Now I didn’t write this letter to complain. I am just concerned at what is trying to be promoted through the station. I believe that if you ask around, most people would agree that GW lacks school spirit. I mean our sports teams are good, but the radio could be used as the most influential vehicle to promote school spirit. Many of us would listen to the station if the disc jockeys were given their right to individuality.
Right now, we have this fancy, shiny new station and we are getting nothing out of it. The people who shouldn’t have shows do have shows. And those that should, don’t have shows. Frankly, most of us see no improvement in the station. Sure our resources are great, but almost no one is listening.
I understand that $32,000 is a lot of money, and there might be pressure to appease the contributors. But this is OUR station. OUR station – meaning the student body. And as we see fewer and fewer students running things around campus (such as Provisions Market), WRGW needs to be a student organization. Right now, the station is not representing the students.
Here is a solution: first of all, these rules for playing “rock” or “top 40” must be stopped. I am still unclear what type of incentive this rule holds, but it is not working – it’s causing less people to listen. It causes less DJs to want to have shows. It is preventing diversity in programming. It is taking away the essence of college radio, and the essence of the student body.
You might feel that it is acceptable to issue a required amount of “top 40,” since it is familiar to everyone. This is marketing the station to a general population, when people on campus aren’t even listening in the first place. If we wanted “top 40,” we could watch MTV. WRGW should be a place for students to express their creativity, to show their knowledge of music, and, most importantly, to entertain on a unique level.
Secondly, with the staff of DJs on the air now, even if the rules were dissolved, the quality wouldn’t improve. We now have some valuable resources available, and it makes no sense to distribute the shows based on “who got there first” or who the board likes. Selection of DJs should be based on what the people want, it should be based on quality and it should be based on who deserves the air-time.
So, the only way to solve this is by reevaluating who gets the prime-time slots (from noon to midnight). This reevaluation should be based on student approval, via polling or some other evaluation that measures what the students want. Currently, ALL the radio slots are filled for the entire academic year. My question is – why?
There is a strong interest in a “top-40-free” station, and by issuing shows based on subjective evaluation is a total waste. It is like having a sports lineup based on who got to tryouts first or who is the oldest.
It is time for change. I believe the student body wants change. I am dedicated to this change. I hope that we can make improvement together. But in case the organization feels that my opinion has no relevance, I can show that the student body wants these changes. Without a resolution, I and 20 others plan on starting a campus-wide petition for these changes.
Please consider these changes, and I hope we can make improvement toward a more “GW” WRGW and toward a realization of WRGW’s potential.
-The writer is a junior with an undecided major.