By Gianni Marabella
KWU, Willamette’s newly created student run radio club, is now officially broadcasting 24/7 at willamette.edu/org/kwu. Broadcasts began a month ago, but the official kick-off show was on Sunday, Sept. 24.
This is the first time the University has had it’s own radio club since the WU Wire went defunct a few years ago. KWU was put together due to a convergent desire on the part of juniors Davis Wolfe, Aaron Schechter, Thomas Haas and MacKayla Carolan to bring radio back to campus.
“Last year I transferred here from a school on the east coast and they had a really great student-run radio station there which was something I really missed here at Willamette,” Carolan said. “I began to poke around last year and see if it was something I could start up myself and found out that a couple of people were already planning on doing it as well. That’s how I met Aaron, Thomas and Davis.”
As a club, each of the four founders of KWU have specific titles, but according to Schechter, most responsibilities are shared among them.
“In practice, the roles that we have are just based on what we lean towards doing. MacKayla is the treasurer for example, but we all work together.”
The planned content being produced currently is a mix of talk-radio and a range of broadcast playlists.
“Most of our shows are music shows with a pretty good range of genres. We also have a handful of talk shows and a sports show too. When there are no shows being broadcast we stream music 24/7,” Carolan said.
As of Oct. 2, 41 shows were slotted for weekly broadcast. With 168 hours in the week, there are still many slots open for people who want to join the radio station or have their own show, which they can apply for on the website. The team is looking for a diverse range of different types of shows.
“We have one show where a guy just wants to talk his stream of consciousness, not with a guest or topic, just talk for an hour. We have shows where people are doing no talking and just playing a playlist all the way through,” Schechter said.
Beyond providing a varied radio experience, KWU is hoping to expand over the course of the next few months and semesters.
“My goal right now is to make sure KWU has everything it needs to keep growing in the future and become a cornerstone of Willamette’s campus culture,” Carolan said. “I think it will be a natural transition for us to start putting on live shows from bands. I would like to see us grow technologically and be able to host larger bands/singers in our studio and record them live. I think it would be cool to also branch out to other parts of the community and be able to, for example, remotely broadcast sports commentary for Willamette sports events. Basically we want to be able to provide broadcasting that appeals to everyone, not just in the Willamette community but everywhere since we are an online station for the moment.”