Claire Hogg, News Writer • email@example.com
Up next on 90.7 FM: Emory & Henry College has defunded student involvement in the on-campus radio station, WEHC. The college will no longer financially support work study programs for the station, which has historically boasted a wide array of opportunities for student engagement. As of this semester, WEHC is only working with volunteers.
“We do not have any work study money at this point. That’s been taken. You can say that–that’s true. As of this semester, we have no support from the college as far as work study money,” WEHC Station Manager Richard Graves said.
In the past, students have played a big role in the production of radio programs. Students have done voice work and air music shows, put promos in shows, worked to make sure programming runs on time and helped outside organizations produce shows. WEHC is a larger operation than most college radio stations, and has historically provided career-oriented experience for students.
“It’s a lot harder for students to get involved, but they’re getting better experience working with professionals at a station that’s a lot bigger and has a bigger listenership than they would if it was just a ten or one hundred watt student station run on campus by only students. They’re getting to work with local professionals to produce really high quality programming,” Graves said.
Since the defunding of the program at the start of the semester, aside from fluctuations, WEHC has maintained around 15 student volunteers. Although the station had approximately the same number of student employees while the work study program still had funding, Graves explained that it was smoother to involve students before the cut-off because the paid work helped with the training and organization. Senior Mass Communications major Abby Hathorn explained, “I was work-study at the station last year, and I could really see my work helping out. When I found out WEHC was no longer an option for work study, I was really confused and concerned for the station.”
As for the future of student work in WEHC, Graves hopes that the current trend of sufficient student volunteers will continue. The station is working to incorporate student ideas into interview programs with professors and community members about political and cultural current events. Students are still a large part of WEHC radio programming, even without the financial support of the college.