On the Air at wwrm.org
Sarah Kreiger ’10 vividly remembers her first time on the air as a deejay for Randolph College’s radio station, WWRM. “I had zero experience,” she recalled with a smile, “And I made plenty of mistakes in the beginning. But I loved it. I thought it was so cool that there was a little radio station here, and it’s a really cool creative outlet and a great resource to have on campus.”
A studio art major, Kreiger has been a driving force in rejuvenating WWRM. The radio station, affectionately known as “The Worm,” broadcasts out of a booth in the Student Center and has been student-run since the 1960s. It originally broadcast over FM radio and then switched to cable. Two years ago, several students began transitioning WWRM to the Internet. Now, listeners can tune into WWRM from all over the world from their computers—for free thanks to online streaming.
When Kreiger took over as manager this year, her goal was to make the radio station as accessible to students as possible. “I set a goal over the summer to have a show every day of the week,” she said. “I had no idea it would grow this big. Some days we have as many as six shows.”
WWRM Manager Sarah Kreiger '10 hosts her live show.
“Sarah’s leadership has been phenomenal,” said David Schwartz, philosophy professor, longtime WWRM host, and advisor to the group. “It is very satisfying to see WWRM vibrant again.”
WWRM features 44 deejays hosting 26 shows, and the station broadcasts taped programming during non-scheduled times. The crew consists of students, faculty, and staff members who showcase everything from pop music to game shows to heavy metal.
“These people are having a good time just being themselves,” Kreiger said. “It’s Randolph College streaming over the Internet.” WWRM already has evidence that people are listening from beyond the Red Brick Wall. An alumna from Missouri called in during Schwartz’s show with fellow Associate Professor of English Jim WWRM streaming Randolph College to world thanks to surge of student interest Peterson. Parents call in to student shows, and some deejays have had callers from as far away as China and England.
Carl Coffey ’11 and Alisha Dingus ’11 are known for their crazy conversations and self-described “raucous senses of humor.” So it was no surprise when they decided to take their “act” on the air. “Cold Sweating in a Burning Room” was born as a play-off of the John Mayer song.
“We decided that we loved to argue and wanted to have an outlet where we could argue about issues, whether they are in the media, in politics, or on campus,” Coffey said.
With just 20 minutes of training, student deejays learn by doing. “WWRM is awesome because it is yet another great opportunity we have at Randolph College,” Coffey said. “Students can easily get a show, share it with friends, and feel free to broadcast their thoughts and musical inclinations with others.”
The best part for Coffey? “Having the creative license to say what I think and not fear the worst,” he said. “It’s great to be able to exercise a constitutional right, and it’s fun to be able to interact with my friends close and far away.”
Melissa Gilbert ’10 created a show for the theatre society. “I felt it would be a great way to keep us out there and have some fun,” she said. “It gives us the chance to showcase theatrical music and also promote theatre events on campus and in the community.”
Her show features musical soundtracks from stage and movie productions. “Like most of the organizations on campus, it’s really awesome,” Gilbert said.
She particularly likes learning the station’s history. The WWRM office and booth are filled with items from the station’s long past, including hundreds of records purchased by students since the station began.
“Seeing some of the actual history, the records, the magazine covers, and knowing that this is part of a legacy of sorts is very gratifying.”
“This is becoming more ‘student owned’,” Gilbert said. “More students have shows than I have ever seen in my four years here, and we’re really taking ownership of it once again.”
Almost anything goes on WWRM, and students pride themselves on the censorship-free policy. However, student leaders are strict about one rule: slanderous material against anyone in the Randolph College community is not tolerated.
“The potential of WWRM for campus life is tremendous,” Schwartz said. “Not only can students have fun, but they can gain experience with radio broadcasting. All of this potential is magnified by the fact that WWRM can now be heard around the world 24/7. That means the deejays can reach not only their peers on campus, but students studying abroad as well as people who may never have heard about Randolph College.”
Program Director Jessica Accorso '10 runs the portable sound system at a campus party.
Thanks to the purchase of a portable sound system, WWRM deejays are also fast becoming a popular feature at campus events, and they are able to funnel the money they raise for their services back into the station.
“Being a part of this Randolph-Macon Woman’s College tradition and making it a part of Randolph College life has been wonderful,” Kreiger said. “One of my goals was to showcase the talent of our diverse community because diversity is one of our school’s most valuable assets. We are able to celebrate that with the radio station.”
Go to www.wwrm.org and click on “Listen to the WWRM.” This will automatically open your media player and start streaming WWRM on your computer!