by Nicole Fitzsimmons & Jocelyn Visnov, News Editor & Asst. Production Editor
Following a challenging hybrid spring semester, Manhattan College’s own radio station, WRCM, shut down their airwaves for safety. Yet, as the college continues to reopen for in-person activities, WRCM has announced that radio shows will resume during this fall semester with increased precautions.
During the spring 2021 semester, rising COVID-19 cases and quarantine procedures amongst DJs led to the decision to cancel all radio shows for the time being. What began as a suspension of shows for a week, led to the cancellation of the semester. This was a difficult decision not only considering the passion from the hosts but also that the radio station had only been running since the spring of 2019 following its closure for a decade.
“When WRCM closed for the spring semester I was saddened, but understood. Having so many members be quarantined, not enough members were left to be able to cover and we were not able to provide the same level of programming that we had during the fall semester,” Kate Uffer, webmaster of WRCM, wrote in an email to the Quadrangle. “By the time it would have been safe to re-open, finals would be approaching, and it would be difficult for DJs to run shows that hadn’t been aired in 3-4 weeks.”
The determination of DJs, faculty and students has led to the decision for the radio station to reopen at full force during this fall semester while following the advanced safety and precautionary measures of the college. Uffer is hopeful that these precautions will lead to a smooth transition of having people back in the booth.
“By following all protocols laid out thus by Manhattan College, I believe that WRCM can have a safe and healthy semester: following the green pass system, mandating masks at all times within the booths and wiping down between shows minimizes any chances of disease spread,” Uffer wrote.
Despite the closure of WRCM for an entire semester, followed by the summer break, radio hosts are still determined to air their shows as they once did during the earlier semesters. Emily Daly, junior electrical engineering major and music minor, works as the tech director of WRCM and also co-hosts a rock-themed radio show with Emily Lavelle. Daly emphasized in an email to the Quadrangle that following the radio station’s closure, she is excited to see WRCM grow and to continue hosting her show as usual.
“Even after this break, we are planning to run the show as usual. Of course, after half a semester and a summer break, there are new releases and more fun facts to broadcast, but nothing else will really be changing in terms of content,” Daly wrote.
Chris Bagdonas, a junior communication major, had joined the WRCM staff just before the closure last semester. Even with the rocky start, Bagdonas found a lot of joy in his radio show at WRCM.
“WRCM is so accommodating of so many different types of radio shows like me with sports and talk radio shows,” he said. “It’s a good stress reliever. You could just go in there for an hour and just play your favorite music. And just like, you know, it’s content for people to listen to, but it’s also a way for you to just escape after class.”
Bagdonas encourages anyone interested in checking out the booth to do so and to be part, either as a listener or a host, of the growing and passionate community.
“I just think everyone should just listen to WRCM. We have a lot of talented creators, and a lot of motivated people,” Bagdonas said.
WRCM back on campus is a way for students to continue to voice their opinions, their interests all while meeting new people. Following a long and chaotic break, students need this more than ever.
“WRCM has added so much to the Manhattan College community in the two-ish years that I have been on campus. I am so happy to be able to see its growth, and I hope that it continues to expand this year,” Daly wrote.
Whether you’re interested in sports, entertainment, or just sharing your taste in music, all students are welcome to check out the WRCM booth. You can tune in to WRCM by searching http://www.wrcm.rocks or keep up to date with WRCM by following them on Instagram, @wrcm. rocks.