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The University Magazine

WITR plans a reunion - and a new studio

RIT’s student-run radio station unveiled a new logo and slogan (‘The Pulse of Music’) to go along with a streamlined on-air format.

RIT’s student-run radio station unveiled a new logo and slogan (‘The Pulse of Music’) to go along with a streamlined on-air format.

Radio reunions

WITR staff will host two get-togethers before the RIT vs. UMASS Lowell hockey game, part of Brick City Homecoming and Family Weekend. Here's the information:

WITR tailgate party

  • Where: Global Village complex on campus
  • Time: 3:30-5:30 p.m.
  • Date: Saturday, Oct. 16
  • Admission: Free, food available for purchase.

WITR reception at Blue Cross Arena

  • Where: Rochester Blue Cross Arena
  • Time: 5:30-7 p.m.
  • Date: Saturday, Oct. 16
  • Admission: $5 per person. You must register/purchase separately to secure a ticket to the hockey game.
  • To register: www.rit.edu/brickcity

Studio Rendering

An artist's rendering showing how a new on-air studio for WITR-FM might look following a planned move to the main floor of the Student Alumni Union. (Courtesy of Graywood Design)

Did you spend part of your college days in relative seclusion, hidden from public view and seeing little daylight?

We're not describing bookworms or RIT's ubiquitous computer-game addicts. No, we're talking about members of WITR-FM (89.7), RIT's student-run radio station.

For as long as anyone can remember, the station has been tucked inside a narrow stretch of space in the Student Alumni Union basement, at the end of the hallway leading away from RITz Sports Zone. Pedestrians striving for respite from winter's chill might occasionally happen upon the station while traversing RIT's tunnels (ensuring at least a few listeners - albeit for brief interludes - to the music blaring outside WITR's main entrance).

Indeed, college radio generally (and WITR is no exception) - often featuring niche, specialty programming - isn't known for drawing large audiences (though listenership to WITR, home of RIT men's hockey broadcasts, receives a boost during hockey season). Also making WITR different from many other college stations, its student members study engineering, computer science, applied networking and system administration, business, photojournalism and myriad other disciplines. Because RIT doesn't offer a broadcasting major, radio is a hobby to most WITR members.

Though they might not aspire to be the next Casey Kasem (or Ryan Seacrest), and despite their physical seclusion, WITR students dedicate themselves to their hobby - not unlike student-athletes devoting countless hours to refining their craft. Now, an effort is underway to better showcase WITR students' work to the campus community and beyond - including alumni.

Earlier this year, WITR unveiled a redesigned website (witr.rit.edu), which features streaming audio, a new slogan - "The Pulse of Music" - and a new logo. Both the slogan and logo, along with high-visibility on-campus promotions such as tailgate parties and other on-location events, help to spread the word about a streamlined on-air format that was launched around the same time.

Striving to connect with past student members and current listeners, WITR also has extended its reach in social media - including Facebook (www.facebook.com/89.7WITR) and Twitter (twitter.com/WITR897). Plus, conceptual plans are in development for a new - and much more visible - on-air studio, on the main floor of the Student Alumni Union, adjacent to the lobby in space formerly occupied by the information desk. Though WITR will maintain offices and a music library in the basement - space that was renovated three years ago - student leaders say the higher visibility afforded by the new studio will be invaluable to station awareness within the campus community and will create new opportunities for listener interaction.

In addition, a reception for WITR alumni is in the works for this year's Brick City Homecoming and Family Weekend, Oct. 15-17. Alumni interested in participating or in supporting WITR's relocation are encouraged to join the RIT Alumni Online Community and select "WITR" from the "Club" pull-down menu (under the "Miscellaneous" category in your online profile).

"We hope to be able to have WITR alumni meet, share memories and catch up with what WITR is doing now," says Christian Rahl, a fourth-year applied networking and system administration major and WITR development director. "In addition, we can provide current students with contact points in a variety of fields."

WITR alumni with WITR-related stories to share, and those currently working in broadcasting, are asked to contact mjsuns@rit.edu for a future story.

Michael Saffran '08



Learn more on the Web:

WITR-related news stories: http://www.rit.edu/news/storiesbytag.php?tag=witr

Previous story about college radio that appeared in Business Strategies Magazine: www.rit.edu/news/supp/ontheradio_jul04.pdf