Many student clubs serve as creative outlets for students who need to relieve some of the stress of academic life. The Wheaton College radio, WCCS, is one such club. However, while other clubs on campus are openly planning and advertising for events, the radio station can sometimes go unnoticed due to the voluntary nature of tuning in.
Even though WCCS, along with many small college radio stations, still maintains a slight air of secrecy, Thomas Holmes ‘16, general manager and president of WCCS, assures that the station is growing and continues to be popular among a group of loyal listeners. Holmes noted that this year there is a large amount of first-years involved in the radio station, which will ensure the growth of the club. Currently there are 35 active DJs, mostly consisting of first-years, who either have their own show on WCCS or co-run a show with someone else.
The essence of WCCS is very free and open, according to Holmes. “We’re open format, and that’s sort of been our policy since the ‘70s,” he notes. Students have the freedom to broadcast virtually whatever they like on their own show, whether it be music from a wide variety of genres or discussion of a current event. “We have talk shows, we have sport shows, we have been just playing music, [and] we have people doing everything from interviews, music and comedy in their shows,” Holmes says.
In addition to student-run shows, WCCS tries to have special guests perform on the station. Usually these guests are lesser-known, yet talented, indie artists who have performed at Live at the Loft. During Spring Weekend, WCCS always tries to get a band to play on air – in the past they have hosted indie artists such as Dan Deacon, Neon Indian, and Reptar.
Although radio has slowly become a more obsolete medium for listening to music, Holmes both hopes and predicts that WCCS will be around for a while longer, even if the shows manifest themselves through another medium. “I think there’s something nice about being broadcast over the air,” Holmes says. “We might not always officially exist in a true radio FM position… I don’t know in what form we will always exist but I think that it will definitely be around, whether that’s all online, [or] whether that’s through some other medium.”
Although the Internet now provides all the services that radio was once the sole distributer of, there does remain a charming allure of secrecy and intimacy for the radio listener. The charm of radio proves to be special, as WCCS continues to be a growing club with avid listeners.
WCCS can be reached through the station 96.5 WCCS on an FM radio, or through iTunes radio streaming under “universities” and then under “WCCS”.