On a recent Saturday evening, students gathered in Gravely-Hampson Commons in the new Student Center wearing costumes and carrying props including a giant teddy bear, a tree branch, and life-size cardboard cutouts. As the song “Harlem Shake” played, they performed their version of the popular Internet video dance phenomenon.
Wyatt Phipps ’13 looked down from the deejay booth on the second floor with a big smile.“It was so powerful and beautiful to watch all these people dance to the ‘Harlem Shake,’ and have the music come from us,” Phipps said. “It was unifying.”
Phipps and other deejays for WWRM, the student-run radio station at Randolph College, are excited about their new digs in the Student Center. The renovation provided them with a space where the station can grow and offer more to the student body. “They were definitely thinking of us as they built this,” said Ryan Blackwell ’13, another deejay.
WWRM’s former home was a tiny room that was hot year round and could barely accommodate three people.
When the student deejays finally moved their equipment into the much larger, air-conditioned studio overlooking the main level of the Student Center, they were ecstatic.
“I had seen blueprints of it for awhile, but I walked in there, and it was way more than I had imagined it would be,” said Crispen Stanbach ’13, the WWRM station manager. “I realized that we could have a full studio and really experience the space.” The new studio allows more people to work on shows together, he said. Also, the glass-walled booth allows for interaction between deejays and their audience. That interaction has already led to a sudden influx of students requesting to start their own shows.
WWRM is also making improvements that will grant a bigger voice to the deejays and more flexibility for listeners. The station’s new recording equipment can allow the students to record shows and distribute them as podcasts in addition to streaming live shows.
Blackwell, who completed a broadcasting internship at a local television station last year, said the developments at the WWRM station will offer more experiences that students could turn into career opportunities. “It has unlimited potential,” he said.