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WRUB radio helps UB students learn DJ skills, share with community

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Every day of the week, student DJs gather in a Student Union third floor office. Tapestries and band posters hang from the walls and in the center of the room sits a table with two microphones and broadcasting equipment.

This is all a handful of dedicated students need to run WRUB, UB’s student-run radio station, and provide the student body with a voice.

“WRUB stands for ‘We Are UB,’ and I think that our name says it all,” said Gabrielle Cohen, general manager of WRUB and a junior environmental design major. “We are UB’s voice to the students via radio, whether it be music or talk radio and we really strive to make WRUB inclusive of all listeners.”

WRUB was conceived in the 1970s and started as an FM station but later switched to online radio format, making it one of the first internet-based college radio stations. Sub Board I, Inc. owns WRUB.

Cohen runs Remulak Radio with co-host Carlie McHale, WRUB assistant general manager and a junior social work and theater major.

Cohen got involved with WRUB in her freshman year when she and McHale decided they “were going to be radio superstars.”

Remulak Radio is part talk show, part music program. A typical program might include political commentary, humor and music selections centered on weekly themes.

With a wide range of open slots, WRUB makes it easy for students with a drive for sharing music and thoughts to contribute to the station.

After expressing interest in joining to WRUB staff, Mason Towne and his friend “were part of the station in no time.”

“We don’t like to make people jump through hoops to join our program,” Towne, a junior biochemistry major, said.

Towne now works as training director at WRUB and helps new DJs learn the skills they need to broadcast their own shows.

“The best part about being a DJ at WRUB is having a platform to express myself,” Towne said. “Being able to put my words out there, share some music and flex my personality is an amazing creative outlet for me.”

Though it’s rewarding, running WRUB isn’t an easy task.

In addition to his responsibilities as training director, Mason and co-host Anthony Siracuse, a junior studying management information systems, run their own show called Formerly Known As Radio on Tuesdays at 7 p.m.

“The biggest challenge to being a DJ would have to be keeping the content coming,” Towne said. “My co-host and I have to listen to a lot of music to bring fresh new stuff to our show every week.”

WRUB hosts a diverse range of shows, from a sports program to The Friend Zone, which includes “specially themed shows, such as ‘Sensitive Drake Day’ and ‘Your 7th Grade Emo Phase.’”

Everything Coming Up Millhouse airs Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. and is one of WRUB’s most unique shows.

“The host, Ian, is a music theory major, so he’s able to provide a lot of interesting information about what he plays,” Towne said. “It’s listening to cool music and learning at the same time.”

WRUB alumni, Zaque Evans and Samuel Hakim, took that sense of community beyond the student-run station, putting their broadcasting skills to work in Buffalo. Evans is a weekend host on 104.7/107.7 Alternative Buffalo and Hakim is the director of hockey broadcasting for the men’s ice hockey team.

WRUB is currently investing in the technology to return to the FM airwaves.

“When the FCC [Federal Communications Commission] opens applications for FM channels we’ll be able to say, ‘we are ready,’” said WRUB Technical Director Ross Moretzsky, a senior architecture major.

The station has been involved in research and grant writing to obtain new console and autoplay systems, which would allow WRUB to broadcast material even when no one is in the studio.

Luke Heuskin is an arts staff writer. Arts can be reached at arts@ubspectrum.com


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