WSYC (We Serve Your Community), 88.7 FM, Shippensburg University’s student-run radio station, is available to all SU students seeking to be involved. The station is not only just available to students who are a part of the communication/ journalism department, but it also encourages students of all majors to join.
Brenden Bekos, general manager of WSYC, is a business major, but plans to change to communication/journalism; however, he has been involved with the radio since the first semester of his freshman year.
He started out as a DJ and worked his way up from there within the three years he has been active at WSYC.
Since the radio station is student-run, it gives students opportunities to get involved as much or as little as they would like and get hands-on experience.
“I have learned a ridiculous amount of stuff being a part of the radio. I have probably learned more about any management thing possible being part of the radio station than so far yet in my business classes,” Bekos said.
Bekos believes the station has made so many changes thanks to his staff and all of the people involved with WSYC. Its music now plays in both the CUB and Reisner Dining Hall.
It even has an app — on both the Apple app store and the Google play store for Android phones — where students can listen to WSYC on the go.
The station has played at events on campus such as “Rock the Vote” in September, and it hosted its own “Up All Night with WSYC” event last year where it played all hours of the night and gave out prizes to its listeners.
“WSYC has done a total one-eighty thanks to my staff and I. Before, we were a radio station that nobody ever wanted to listen to and now we have a great staff and have made some really true changes,” Bekos said.
The station currently has about 30 to 35 DJs, according to Bekos. Some of the DJ bios can be found at clubs.ship.edu.
Alaina Rodriguez, senior communication/journalism major, is one of the DJs for WSYC. Her show is called “The Weekday Mix with Alaina” and is every Wednesday from 2 to 4 p.m.
She plays hip-hop and pop music such as Rihanna, Drake, Frank Ocean, Wiz Khalifa, One Direction and Taylor Swift. Not only do the DJs play music of their choice, they also can include talk radio sessions.
Rodriguez often talks about abnormal stories in the news or about sports, especially during the World Series since she is a baseball fan.“I joined WSYC because I really like music. I liked the idea of being able to share music that I like with other people, because some of my music is strange and people may not have heard of it. I just thought it would be a good way to expose artists,” Rodriguez said.
Students who are DJs have much more freedom with the music they can play and what they can talk about the longer they are involved with the station.
“I have to follow that I can’t play the same artist twice in the same hour. Other than that, I am on my second semester so I can play whatever music and talk about whatever I want. So I am pretty free to do whatever,” Rodriguez said.
The communication/journalism department has recently introduced a class called practicum. This class requires all students to become involved with some kind of student media whether is The Slate, SUTV WSYC, PRSSA or The Cumberland Yearbook and document his or her progress within that student media group.
Although some practicum students have taken advantage of WSYC, Bekos does not think it is a major contribution to the radio station’s success.
“People have gotten more interested in WSYC from just things we have been doing on campus so much more than just students taking practicum, but we do have some practicum students who are really doing a phenomenal job,” Bekos said.Rodriguez is part of the department’s new practicum course but was involved with the radio even before the course was implemented.“
I feel like I have learned a lot. I learned a lot about playing music, I learned the software Audition through it and how to record things. I have learned some skills that I can utilize. I realize that now being involved, I can put skills that I used in the classroom into a hobby pretty much,” Rodriguez said.
The station was nominated for an award earlier this semester. The award was Best Use of Limited Resources by the College Music Journal awards. Although they did not receive the award, being nominated was a great accomplishment.
Other nominees for the same award are from all over the country and from Canada as well. SU was the only Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) school that was nominated for the award.
The dedication and energy of all the students involved in groups like WSYC is what makes them so unique. Without them, student-run groups would not be possible or nearly as successful.