WCUR, 91.7FM—West Chester University’s radio station—is a student-run, non-profit radio station that broadcasts a broad range of entertainment from alternative music to sports talk shows. The station has seen numerous changes over the past summer, including new furniture and new microphone stands in the studio. Along with this, one of its walls now displays a brief timeline of the history of the radio station, created and arranged by WCUR’s newest General Manager, Samantha Helias.
Helias, a senior communication studies major, was elected General Manager this past semester and has spent her summer renovating the station and the way it functions:
“Over the summer, we put up a history wall which has actually been really interesting because I was able to see when the station started and how much effort has been put into the station but also the move towards FM status.”
The station had originally run via telephone wires that connected Sykes Student Union to the dormitories. Because of this, students had limited access to the station’s broadcast.
Along with this change, Helias also spoke about the installation of new microphone stands to cut down on background noise and new furniture. She spoke about measures put in place to make the station more inviting to students:
“They’ll come in and have lunch,” she said, “Or they’ll hang out before or after their show. We even have Netflix on the television. If we give them a space, we are hoping they will come.”
Along with changes made to the physical studio, this year should see an increase in WCUR events, both in collaboration with other organizations and entirely independent events. Logan Ruschel, WCUR’s Events and Promotions Director, has been working on bringing the station to Oktoberfest, a music festival located in Philadelphia. Members would have the opportunity to meet and interview bands performing in the festival.
Helias spoke about how creating more WCU-specific events, as well as events unaffiliated with the university, is aimed at attracting more students to the organization.
“I love everything I do. I love to spread positivity. And music is something that everyone loves in such different ways. That’s why it’s really cool to see everyone come together.”
She really wants to encourage students of all different backgrounds to come and join the radio station. With the diversity in students, majors and passions, Helias says that it’s impossible to not find someone you would get along with, one of the reasons why she initially joined radio.
“They seemed like the cool kids on campus,” she joked. “No actually, because I love music… I just wanted to make friends and I knew I wasn’t going to do Greek life…I feel like the alternative was getting involved in a club that was centered around music.”
Helias has a message for students who are interested in joining the radio station or have a passion for music but may be hesitant to get involved:
“I think it’s easy to get shot down, especially when it comes to music because people can get pretentious about it. It’s why it’s so cool that we have the diversity that we do. As long as you love music, come play it and show us what you love.”
In order to join the radio station, students must attend six, one-hour instructional classes to learn about FCC policies. Each one-hour lesson requires an hour of studio observation and a written test after the six-week sessions. Membership is granted after successful completion of the written test and a follow up practical exam. Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 to be a member of the organization.
For more information, please contact General Manager Samantha Helias at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kinjal Shah is a fourth-year student majoring in English. She can be reached at KS826308@wcupa.edu.