By Willy Doehring Contributing Writer
UMF’s own student-run radio station, 91.5 WUMF, is looking towards the future, taking steps to improve the experience of listeners as well as improving the club for its many student members.
The presence of WUMF as a station and a club can be felt throughout UMF. The station provides a constant musical backdrop for students passing through the Olsen student center. Students host shows dedicated to everything from chart-topping hits to local music as well as a variety of genres.
Richard Southard, a senior and current Station Manager of WUMF, said with a smile, “It’s really a statement on the diverse interests of the students on campus.”
The club is one of the biggest on campus. “On average, I’d say we have around 20-30 shows on the schedule each semester,” said Southard. “A lot of shows have more than one student hosting, so I’d say we usually have about 30-40 members.”
Recently WUMF has faced a few difficulties. “There’s been some sudden changes that have caused some hiccups,” Southard said. “Multiple station managers before me suddenly needed to step down and leave.” Southard also cited issues with outdated equipment and promotions for the station were continually pushed back.
To make matters worse, WUMF’s annual spring concert event normally held in late March was cancelled due to a lack of participating bands. “It looked pretty optimistic, but then some of the scheduled bands dropped and others never even responded,” Southard said. “Pretty disappointing, seeing as this was the first time the event has been dropped.”
Nate Red, a junior and WUMFs current music director, said “This semester has been rocky for the club as a whole. Good news is there’s still a lot of dedicated DJs who love what they do.”
Red is one of the students spearheading WUMF’s preparation for next semester, which the club plans to use as a time to re-focus and improve the station for both DJs and listeners.
One improvement came in the form of brand-new equipment for the station earlier this semester, from new microphones for the DJs to new sound systems. Southard hopes that the new gear will make shows better for DJ’s and listeners alike.
“Better equipment means better sound quality overall for listeners,” Southard said. “It also gives more incentive for students to do their own shows. The new microphones sound a lot smoother, which encourages DJs to share their voices as well as their music.”
The new equipment is just the first step. With club leadership looking towards the future, WUMF members will have a much easier time focusing of the growth of their club. Red mentioned “getting the club newsletter back up and running in order to promote shows and music to a wider audience” is on the agenda. The station will be keeping a constant stream of new music on the radio as well in the fall semester.
Both Red and Southard agreed that next year would be a building year for WUMF, and are looking forward to see how the club grows. “I’m really excited to see the club get some more life, because it’s definitely changing for the better,” Red said.
You can tune in to 91.5 WUMF on FM radio, or stream the station by searching for “Listen Live WUMF.”