WHAT IS WESU?
What is WESU, you ask? If you really had to ask that question, you’re doing the whole Wesleyan experience wrong and it’s time to reevaluate your four years here. At 6,000 watts WESU can reach a potential audience of one million listeners over the radio, and the whole world through online streaming (apparently we have a lot of listeners in Japan…).
Speaking as a completely non-biased non-board member of WESU, I can honestly say that being a part of the radio station is one of the most valuable and rewarding activities that one can participate in while at Wesleyan. WESU is not your average radio station. It has certainly established itself as “home of eclectic music and enemy of the Top 40.” During board meetings we even keep track of a meter that goes from “corporate” to “renegade” just to make sure we never stray from our values.
WESU’s “freeform” format gives staff members the complete freedom to format their shows however they please. As a result you’ll find a wide array of programming that you won’t find anywhere else. Some examples include “Romancipation” with Dr. Love and DJ Smooth (“tips on dating, love, and all of the above – and some songs to go with them”), “Homegrown” with Rob DeRosa (“Homegrown presents Connecticut-connected music to the global audience. Gig info and occasional performances and interviews!”) and “The Tirnup and Other Roots” with DJ Zing and DJ Ping (“Carrots, songs, beets, poems, beats, stories and yams”). However, you’ll also find shows streamed from NPR, Pacifica and the Democracy Now! networks.
The junior DJs and Wesleyan student-mentors at the Middletown Youth Radio Project on WESU 88.1FM send word about a recent piece produced with the support of Generation PRX, an online social network for youth radio producers:
We submitted a pitch to Generation PRX about working with our kids to create a sort of sound profile about bullying in Traverse Square, the community adjacent to Hi Rise/Lo Rise. A few of our kids…all residents of T-Square, worked together to conduct interviews and gather material in the field that we edited together for a five minute piece. Generation PRX has generously given us state of the art professional audio equipment to help us put this together, and we’re all very excited about this opportunity.
Click through to hear Middletown residents Destiny Chandler and Alexis Madera share their thoughts on living, learning and hanging out in Traverse Square. Michael Roth liked it and we hope you will too!
From Maddie Neufeld ’12:
Middletown Youth Radio Project Info Session
Do you like working with kids? Are you interested in radio production? If so, please come to an informational meeting to learn more about the Middletown Youth Radio Project!
Date: Sunday, Oct. 18
Time: 7:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Place: Usdan 110
Wow, and more great WesU stuff…
There’s a fantastic story today in the Christian Science Monitor about the Middletown Youth Radio Project, through which preteen local residents of T-Square host their own radio shows at WesU:
Every Friday night, two 10- to 12-year-old DJs put on their headsets in the WESU radio studios at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., and host their own half-hour radio show.
Kid DJs Clayton Smith and Ayanna Perez, both seventh-graders, write stories, poems, and songs for their weekly show. The program, “The Middletown Youth Radio Project” (MYRP), partners 12 elementary and middle-school students with eight Wesleyan University (WU) student mentors.
Every week, mentors help the young DJs edit their songs and stories at DJ workshops. Mu Abeledo, a WESU DJ and a senior at WU, and Jessica Jones, a former WU student, started the program in 2007.
Before the young DJs host their shows, each makes up an on-air name. For example, Clayton is DJ C-Dog and Ayanna is DJ Strawberry Shortcake.
These youthful DJs also have a chance to conduct interviews with people in the community. Recently, fifth-grader Chris Madera and his mentor, senior Eli Scherer, visited Marco’s Italian Deli to interview its owner. This was the first time Chris had interviewed someone. He used a handheld recorder to record the interview. Afterward, Chris edited the interview and played it on the air.