Radio station struggles to improve: members say upgrades worth money


The WWPV radio station located on second floor of Dion is where the student DJs make all of the music happen that is then sent out over the airwaves on channel 92.5 the Mike.w (PHOTO BY LEANNE HAMILTON)

Four years ago, freshman Paul Stumpf entered the radio station where he was not as impressed as he had hoped. The record player sat broken on the table and the ‘on air’ sign letting everyone know a DJ was live sat as an empty box with no bulb sitting inside. The walls were bare; lacking posters, signs, anything that expressed charm. The back room where the collection of music is stored was stacked with boxes upon boxes. It was then that Paul and other members of the station, decided to get to work. Fast forward to 2019, senior Paul Stumpf ‘19, will gladly show you the level tables, decorated walls of the sound studio, and the shelves standing floor to ceiling, full of labeled CDs and vinyls. It didn’t come easy. Much of the radio team put a lot of their own time into getting it this way and there is still more they want to achieve.

“Much of the money we do receive to the show goes to maintaining the station, not equipment,” said Paul. “We have to pay the artists we play over the air.” Most of the money goes toward yearly expenses for royalties to artists and licensing fees for the station. As well, the yearly engineer fee toward their on-call engineer that they are required to have. Paul has taken much of his passion for the station and uses it to build a true foundation for the upcoming years to expand upon, “I do not limit myself to just doing the bare minimum. Everything I am accomplishing will be included in format which can be built upon in the future and can be used again and again.” Not only is it important to Paul and the other members of the radio station, but it’s something that should hopefully be important to all the students here at St. Michael’s as well. “It’s the voice of Saint Michael’s College. Radio is an outlet which can give students a voice, every student has an opportunity to be a DJ and every DJ has the power to change the world. Each DJ brings a unique and creative way to communicate to not just their friends in the dorm room, but to an entire community of Vermont.”

Clubs are limited on fundraising and outside donations, which means they have to get their budget funds from the Student Government Association. The SGA sets aside general reserves that will go to funding the clubs on campus. WWPV had asked for 2,000 dollars toward updating equipment this semester, but only received 1,000 dollars. “A club’s growth ebbs and flows,” said Jake Myers ‘19, president of the SGA. “Some clubs will ask for the same budget each year, whereas others it depends on how motivated the members and leaders are.”

The eboard members of WWPV have a lot of passion for the station and are constantly dedicating time to improving the club. It’s just a bit difficult when you need money to do so. Depending on how much the club members want to take on with events and updates, the budget will consider that. “Of course I’d love

to have unlimited funds, but that’s just not the reality of it. We are going to have to prioritize where the money is being spent. We try to invest in events that students will want to come out for.” Back in 2017, alumni Tom DeCrescenzo ‘17, worked as the Director of News and PSAs for al- most three years. For Tom the radio station had come a long way when he got the chance to see it while on campus. “The station when I was here was unstructured with just a bunch of kids hanging out that happened to have a radio show, but now it has that structure that a foundation can be built on to be an actual functioning station,” said Tom. “The important thing to keep in mind is that as the radio station has grown, it has kept the same spirit and character that I knew as a freshman. I just hope the school realizes we need more resources.”

Despite budgets that sometimes limit the opportunity to upgrade, Tom finds the radio station worth the effort being put into it. “It’s a great experience to have in broad- casting, a rare experience some don’t even think of. It’s an escape that allows you to make it your own and listen to the music you love while also sharing on air what you love.”