Multiple Enhancements Boost Student Radio Station’s Standing
Providence, R.I.--Providence College’s student-run radio station, WDOM 91.3 FM, was ranked 11th in the nation recently in recognition of its efforts to increase accessibility to listeners.
The ranking by the Princeton Review represents the results of mostly online responses of more than 122,000 students at the 376 institutions with student-run radio stations.
“There were a lot of changes that definitely helped us get recognized. One area we strengthened was our accessibility to the public,” said Scott Schere ’11, general manager for WDOM during the 2010-11 academic year.
Last year, the station began broadcasting 24 hours. Schere said the students initiated presence on the Tune In smart phone application and worked with the College’s Department of Information Technology to stream WDOM online (www.wdom913.com). Both allowed the station to be listened to worldwide.
The station has made other enhancements, too, in recent years. According to Justine Harrington ’12 (Hanover, Mass), station general manager, WDOM has made a valiant effort to provide the community with enhanced event programming.
Hosting a diverse number of events, the station increased its co-sponsorships. It worked with Student Congress on Stuartstock, the annual arts and culture festival in the spring, and with the Board of Multicultural Students Association (BMSA) on monthly “Open Mic Nights.”
On the latter collaboration, a different cultural club within the BMSA co-sponsored each night. The club provided cultural dishes, while WDOM provided the stage for students to perform. One Open Mic Night, co-sponsored by the Asian American Club, was called “Sing for Japan,” at which students were encouraged to donate funds to the Red Cross following the devastating earthquake in that nation.
“Our Open Mic Nights always are well attended, so this gave students an opportunity to learn about a different culture and, in this case, directly benefit the people of that culture,” said Harrington, who hopes the nights will resume this academic year.
Harrington, previously served as the station’s promotions director for two years, noted that WDOM has hosted a variety of on-campus and off-campus concerts, with musical genres ranging from rap and metal to acoustic and rock.
College bolsters station infrastructure
Harrington said that other, more infrastructural additions to the student news organization include new, additional office space “in an amazing central location” and broadcasting equipment, both provided by the College.
The support has “helped us raise our standards” she said, adding that the extra office space will enable the station to hold regular business office hours and thereby project “a more professional manner.”
Schere said that all the improvements the station has experienced and the recognition in national rankings have bolstered the morale of everyone associated with WDOM.
“The station has made significant progress as to organization, professionalism, and work ethic, which have resulted in our goal of becoming a reputable and popular media outlet for Providence College students,” he said.
WDOM originated in 1949 and now functions with approximately 110 student members. Harrington sees a bright future for the station.
“We are constantly looking for innovative and creative ways in which to communicate with our listeners and for opportunities to expose students to new and diverse events that speak to all types of people,” she said. “We have recently started reaching out to other organizations, such as The Cowl, PCTV, and Student Congress, to create interdisciplinary content for promoting events and news on campus.”
--Genevieve Marie Ilg ’14