The student-run community news site of Vermont State University - Johnson

Basement Medicine

The student-run community news site of Vermont State University - Johnson

Basement Medicine

The student-run community news site of Vermont State University - Johnson

Basement Medicine

New energy at campus radio station WJSC

Jo Cutler

Last year, Vermont State University-Johnson almost lost its campus radio station. This was not due to the merger of the state colleges, but a lack of student participation. Compared to the previous school year, the number of students interested in the radio has skyrocketed. We have not identified a reason behind the increase in interest, but the existing radio hosts are excited to see more student involvement.

According to Jeff Angione, who has overseen the radio for ten years, WJSC began broadcasting in the fall of 1968. Starting at just 10 watts, the station now broadcasts at 250 watts and can be streamed worldwide. With 10 watts the station only could be heard on campus. Now, WJSC can be heard from Morrisville to Jeffersonville. While the location of the radio has changed throughout the years, since 2007 it’s been located in the lobby of Sterns.

This past summer, Middlebury College took over the station and now co-broadcasts with Johnson. This will not change how the radio is run. However, Middlebury College has asked students not to broadcast over certain morning shows.

While Angione, the VTSU-Johnson librarian, still oversees the radio station, a group of three students have stepped up into a similar role. On September 12, they held a new DJ meeting. Students were given more information on how the radio works and were allowed to ask any questions they might have. If students were interested, they could write down their name and contact information on a sign-up sheet.

Les Mawson, the radio host of Deep Blues on WJSC, is excited about this new group. Mawson first aired his show, in 2014. To hear his show, tune in to 90.7 WJSC on Wednesday nights at 8. He believes that the shortage of involvement in the radio is because of its lack of promotion. He thinks this group will help promote the radio, increasing student interest.

Angione encourages people to become involved. “It is empowering in the simple aspect that radio, like theater, helps you overcome your anxiety of being in front of people.”

He sees the radio as not just a fun activity to do on campus, but a way to learn life skills.

“For job interviews, for public speaking, for generally how you carry yourself in society, the radio is a great tool that you don’t have to pay for to utilize.”

In the past when students expressed interest in the radio, there has been a lack of follow-through and commitment. Angione fears that this might be the case this year. One of Angione’s concerns is that students cannot commit to a weekly radio show.

“It’s hard for anybody to latch on to your radio show if you’re that inconsistent,” he said. “How can you get a following if you don’t establish something?”

Tune into 90.7 WJSC to hear our new upcoming radio hosts. If you have what it takes to have a weekly show contact [email protected] or [email protected] for more information.

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About the Contributor
Jo Cutler, Staff Writer
Jo Cutler (she/they) is a junior at Vermont State University-Johnson, majoring in Secondary Education with a concentration in English. During their free time Jo enjoys dancing, swimming, skiing, hanging out with friends and family, and listening to music. They are currently a part of two different dance groups. They are co-caption of the Johnson Dance Club and a part of Ghostlight Dance Ensemble. They currently live in Morrisville, Vermont.