Even a pandemic can’t stop college radio stations, including Montclair State University’s own WMSC, from celebrating their yearly World College Radio Day.
The worldwide event, which has named Bret Michaels, Poison frontman and original singer of iconic hits such as “Talk Dirty to Me” and “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” as Official Ambassador, is set to take place on Friday, Oct. 2.
According to Anabella Poland, WMSC’s general manager, the purpose of College Radio Day is to bring together nearly 600 radio stations around the world to celebrate the hard work done by students involved with college radio. Despite the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic still wreaking havoc on the nation, they are able to come together for the cause.
“In the past, WMSC would host 30 hours live of exclusive content that included golf cart karaoke around campus, back-to-back performances in our studios, political debates in Presentation Hall and overall a lot of students working together that day,” Poland said. “Obviously, COVID-19 guidelines have restricted our ability to broadcast back-to-back live shows so many college stations, ours included, have chosen to prerecord and prepare in advance for the big day which is a gargantuan effort.”
T-MINUS 6 days until College Radio Day!!! We can’t wait to celebrate with everyone around the world, this marathon is going to definitely be one to remember📻✨ @collegeradioday #worldcollegeradioday pic.twitter.com/plM7erHydo
— 90.3 WMSC-FM (@WMSC) September 27, 2020
The theme for this year’s event is “Global Solidarity Rocks,” which represents a timely matter in light of the worldwide pandemic and the notion that everyone is in it together.
Joshua Tirado, a senior television and digital media major with a concentration in audio and sound design, says his job as programming director of WMSC has become more active this year. In contrast to past years where programming directors would create the show schedule and approve DJs to host their own shows on College Radio Day, this year proved to be slightly different.
“This year a majority of our shows will be prerecorded, meaning that DJs have to record their shows beforehand and send them to me so that I can schedule them all to be played at the proper times,” Tirado said. “Along with uploading sweepers to our system for live shows the day of, I have also been sending them out to our DJs so they can incorporate them into their prerecorded shows to make them feel live.”
An interview with the founder of College Radio Day, exclusive performances, Rocky’s Virtual Dance Party, alumni takeover and more are on WMSC’s schedule for College Radio Day. Their own interview with Michaels will also be airing on nearly every college radio station in the 38 countries participating in the worldwide event.
Kaya Maciak, a junior communication and media arts major, is the office manager at WMSC. Maciak’s team has been in charge of promotional events, such as the recent Hamilton Trivia night. She has also helped with getting Montclair State students involved by having them submit 60 second questions to include in the #askBret Instagram campaign as well as their college radio experiences in a second Instagram campaign titled #MyCollegeRadioStory.
“I want to meet college radio students that love college radio as much as I do and celebrate our stories and experiences,” Maciak said. “College radio for many college radio students is a huge part of their college experience, and we are just super appreciative of the opportunities we received.”
Newsdive would not be what it is today if it wasn't for the freedom and support we received from our start in college radio. We're immensely proud that our former station @WMSC is leading #WorldCollegeRadioDay this year! https://t.co/iaeUiWliPT
— Newsdive (@newsdiveradio) September 29, 2020
AJ Melillo, a senior political science major and the station manager at WMSC, is hopeful about this year’s event, despite the COVID-19 pandemic adjustments.
“2020 has clearly been a difficult time for the world and North Jersey in particular, but through the effort of our team at WMSC and the team at the World College Radio Foundation, this year’s event will mean more than any year prior,” Melillo said. “I hope people choose to tune in and celebrate with us the importance of college radio.”
WMSC is launching the night before College Radio Day on Thursday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. Listeners can use the hashtags #WCRD2020, #GlobalSolidarityRocks and #collegeradioday to follow the 24 hour marathon and keep up with both the lineups and the exciting surprises Montclair State’s radio team have in store.