Join Montclair State University’s very own radio station, WMSC, as they participate in World College Radio Day on Oct. 1.
No theme is better suited for the day than “College Radio is Resilient Radio,” a way to acknowledge the many hardships endured as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Not only did WMSC, along with many other college radio students and staff, cover heartbreaking, hard news related to the pandemic, but the process of conducting the station from home took more resources, flexibility and adaptation as well.
The WMSC team is ready to celebrate their strength in the face of these struggles by contributing to the 11th annual World College Radio Day, an event where students call awareness to the importance of the medium, as well as provide an opportunity for stations to network, recruit and even raise funds for other stations that need it.
For WMSC, the event is considered a time for team building and firsthand experience, especially since General Manager Anabella Poland is president of College Radio Day in the United States. She shares her role of worldwide collaborations and organizing all American stations with the students.
“The ability to get hands-on experience to help plan an event of this scale is invaluable and such an amazing experience,” Poland said. “They also get to interview all the celebrities I book for the event because, for me, it is 100% about them and their learning experience.”
Interviews with 13 celebrities such as College Radio Day Ambassador “Weird Al” Yankovic, Neal Schon of Journey, Gojira, Monarch and more are a part of the 33-hour broadcast put together by the team, including a plethora of other content like Golf Cart Karaoke, Battle of the Vinyls, a dodgeball tournament and even a completely original musical titled “The Nightmare Before World College Radio Day.”
WMSC’s ability to broadcast these shows live is a drastic shift from last year when a majority of their material was pre-recorded. Only five to seven students were around for live shows at the time, whereas there are now about 50 people on the team ready to help at any time.
Associate Program Director Ben Petruk, a junior journalism major, is tasked with helping upload content, training new DJs and managing shows. He notes the change of engagement and spirit among the students in WMSC upon their in-person return.
“This year it’s all different,” Petruk said. “The atmosphere, the participation, the passion is all back, and it’s a huge backbone as to why this day is so special.”
What also makes World College Radio Day so memorable for the team is seeing their effort pay off.
The thought-out schedule the station has on queue comes from months of preparation and planning, beginning all the way in May and continuing on throughout summer until the big day.
Kenny Horn, a senior television and digital media major and producer of the “Morning Buzz,” is responsible for preparing daily scripts, providing on-air direction and booking interviews for the station. He says it’s the collective hard work of his peers that motivate individual members such as himself to keep going.
“When I look over at everybody else and see the sleepless nights on their face, it makes me want to work harder and take as much pride in what I’m doing as they are in their [work],” Horn said.
WMSC hopes to share their effort with the school while simultaneously providing joy, according to Station Manager Kaya Maciak, a senior communication and media arts major, who oversees all student operations at the station.
“We are lucky to have such a hard-working and talented team that understands the responsibility of operating a college radio station and purely love their craft,” Maciak said. “We all share the same eagerness and thrill for college radio and want to show off our talents to the world.”
Students at Montclair State can support the hard work put in by their WMSC peers by tuning in Thursday, Sept. 30 at 6 p.m. until Saturday, Oct. 2 at 3 a.m. They may give requests and even hop onto the golf cart for karaoke, taking photos and videos along the way to be shared on social media using the hashtag #WMSCCRD.