Riding the Radio Waves

Ursinus radio station WVOU is hitting the right frequency and gaining popularity with students.

Armed with a revamped studio and recording equipment this year, student deejays at Ursinus College’s radio station WVOU are eager to start their shows. Whether students choose to talk about issues on campus, or play the latest tunes on the air, this hidden gem is moving to the forefront as more students get involved.

Just as the content of the radio shows vary, so, too, do the interests of the hosts themselves. Alex Nigro ’18 is one example of how a student from any major or area of study has the opportunity to create his or her own radio show.

An environmental studies major with minors in both ethics and gender and women’s studies (who also happens to be on a pre-law track), music is not the first thing that comes to mind when considering Nigro’s academic pathway. Yet, Nigro’s lifelong love of music and an email seeking student participants brought her to WVOU to be both a show host and a student liaison.

“I wasn’t even aware that we had a radio station here on campus. I heard about it through an email,” Nigro says. “I always had a really good relationship with music. Growing up, I listened to a lot of punk, older stuff like ’60s and ’70s rock. I always liked it, so I figured the radio would be a good place for me to bring my taste in music to Ursinus.”

Tony Nadler, an assistant professor of media and communications studies at Ursinus and WVOU adviser, echoed Nigro’s feelings. “I think there are many ways that students benefit from being part of WVOU,” Nadler says. “Perhaps the most important is simply that it’s a way to contribute to and shape our Ursinus culture. Whether you’re curating music or hosting a talk show, running a program on WVOU is contributing to the cultural life of this community.”

The radio station is also a refuge for students. They have the creative freedom to produce any kind of show they want, and the studio in Ritter can be a place to relax after a hard day of classes, work and extracurricular activities.

“Any student can join the radio,” Nigro says. “If you play sports, you can come after and relax. If you’d describe yourself as someone with a rigorous major, you can unwind from that as well. My favorite thing is being able to forget about everything that goes on, whether it’s school or classes or even social engagements, and come here. I have an outlet to just sit in the radio station and play the music that just speaks to me that day.” —by Leighnah Perkins ’17