HomeCurrent IssueAfter legal issues, WU Wire plays again

After legal issues, WU Wire plays again

By Sam Chalekian

On the third floor of the Putnam University Center is a little room covered in graffiti. There’s not

much in the room to speak of besides some furniture and audio equipment. Every night the

room serves as the location for WU Wire, the University’s Internet radio station.

WU Wire is made up of many individual radio shows that play throughout the week.

Last fall, the club president, Johnny Saunders, wanted to broadcast WU Wire on a low-
power FM station, but found that it was financially and legally impractical. In the process, the

University’s legal adviser also found that WU Wire needed better licensing for playing the music.

“Better, meaning any,” Saunders said.

In order to continue broadcasting, which they did anyway, the club had to register their station

to receive the rights to play music. They registered with Live365, an Internet radio network that

keeps track of and reports their information.

With copyright and licensing issues gone, WU Wire began its first official line-up of shows on

Monday, Sept. 14, beginning with Pony Express, hosted by seniors Jerome Sader and Greg

Ebert.

“We talked about all sorts of things,” Sader said. “We had a Lithuanian news update, geology

today, pro-basketball and some deep house music.”

Following the Pony Express, Saunders hosted his freestyle rapping show with several friends.

From 9 p.m. to midnight, each took turns rapping and inventing spontaneous rhymes.

“Anyone can just come in and rap,” Saunders said. “It doesn’t matter how good you are so long

as you want to try it.”

WU Wire provides its hosts with a taste of producing content and speaking for an audience.

Senior Alex Geiszler began hosting a program in his sophomore year and continues to be

involved with WU Wire.

“Radio is a special medium because you can’t hear your audience and there’s no eyes on you,”

Geiszler said.

Both hosts however were confident that they could improve their show.

“The sky is the limit,” Sader said. “If we don’t get on Conan by the end of the semester, I’m

going to be disappointed.”

In time, the heavily vandalized room has come to become a symbol for many of its hosts.

“The walls got cleaned once,” Saunders said. “It was a huge scandal in the WU Wire community

because everyone thought [the walls were] a great vehicle of expression.”

Whether it is a variety show with traces of deep house or intense freestyle rapping sessions,

students can find a voice for themselves in that dirty little room. Students interested in hosting

their own show should contact Saunders.

“The WU Wire provides students with the opportunity to be heard,” Geiszler said. “Regardless of

experience, students can sign up for a time slot and do what they want for an hour.”

schaleki@willamette.edu

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