Letter to the Editor
Western Herald - February 24, 2004
For the past 51 years, students at Western Michigan University have staffed and operated a radio station. What started as Western Inter-Dormitory Radio became 750-AM and eventually, 89.1 WIDR-FM -- the source for Radio Evolution.
Thanks to all who support non-profit, commercial-free, student-run radio! WIDR has stayed on the air because of the generosity of the university, the 100 volunteers who keep it on-air and the support of our listeners, community members and alumni during our annual fundraiser, WIDR Week.
February 8-15 was WIDR Week 2004. Although we didn't hit our goal of $20,000, we came very close. The over $17,000 in monetary support is the most we've ever raised, and we are very grateful for that.
WIDR is the only source for independent radio, music and public affairs programming in the Kalamazoo area. Thanks to all who support what we do. (If it slipped your mind, feel free to log on to www.widr.org, and show your support now.)
On behalf of the volunteers here at WIDR and our board of directors, thank you very much!
WIDR general manager
February 11, 2004
Listening to the latest Top 40 songs is a very simple task; just turn on any of Kalamazoo's popular radio stations. Listening to an extremely eclectic blend of unique music really leaves only one option: Turn your dial to 89.1 WIDR-FM. Even if noncommercial music isn't what you want to listen to, the student-run radio station deserves campus support during its annual "WIDR Week" and during every other week in the year.
As a radio station that tries to support the underdog rather than opting for the more popular route of commercialized hits, WIDR struggles with funds. Aside from the directors and a manager, WIDR operates with 75 dedicated volunteers who keep the station running.
WIDR deserves student support largely for its uniqueness. Aside from not playing run-of-the-mill music, the station's volunteers offer interesting talk programs. For example, Monday evenings from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. are dedicated to sports talk, movies on Tuesday, major news events on Wednesday and politics on Thursday's "People's Power Hour" round out the week.
Also unique to WIDR is the individuation of playlists. That is, rather than programs coming from a satellite to a local station, WIDR has real, live DJs in the studio. Many other stations play music from an unchangeable playlist of computer files, but WIDR staff and volunteers hand-select music from classics as well as from more than 100 CDs the station receives each week from promoters.
These interesting programs and eclectic sounds are perfect for a college campus to enlighten listeners, to entertain and to provide the student audience with commentary from peers, rather than older disc jockeys.
This year, the goal of WIDR Week is to earn $20,000 in donations. Keeping true to its reputation for being unique, WIDR is making the money in some very fun and interesting ways. Aside from an on-air pledge drive, there will be bowling (with the opportunity to win donated prizes), a critically acclaimed film viewing and a night of rock music at Kraftbrau. Last Sunday, WIDR even held an indoor garage sale at which WIDR staff members and volunteers sold their "personal memorabilia." For some aspiring DJs, this week could be your chance to get your voice heard. For a donation of 89.10, people can guest-host a show with a DJ.
So students, make pledges to WIDR and participate in WIDR week. If funds and time schedule don't permit, then be sure to tune in to your student radio station to support an organization that exemplifies dedication and has a unique flair.
If you have stories or photographs to share with other WIDR Alumni, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org