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Student org profile: WXOU creating community on the air

WXOU+provides+a+variety+of+content-+from+talk+shows+to+indie+music+to+news.
WXOU provides a variety of content- from talk shows to indie music to news.

WXOU provides a variety of content- from talk shows to indie music to news.

Nicole Morsfield

Nicole Morsfield

WXOU provides a variety of content- from talk shows to indie music to news.

Edward Zilincik, Contributing Writer

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Oakland University student run radio station WXOU offers many different music options for listeners and students of Oakland University. By glancing at the WXOU schedule, programs vary from indie music to sports, alternative music to rhythm and blues – and even include some news and girl talk.

Drew Marczewski is the general manager at WXOU, his job at the station involves behind the scenes work including paying bills, booking events, and coordinating projects with the WXOU staff and DJs.

“Variety is something that we take pride in here at WXOU,” Marczewski said. “We are a free format station so we don’t require our DJs to follow a set genre [or] style with their programs. This brings some diversity to airwaves while providing a community-based alternative to commercial radio.”

“Our station consists of a hard working group of community DJs, staff and faculty,” Marczewski said. “I want to make sure that WXOU continues to provide an environment for them all to thrive at what they do, whether it is covering news, mixing music, producing content or conducting interviews.”

Kevin Hawthorne, music director at WXOU, charts music for the North American College and Radio Chart and listens to as much music as humanly possible to see what’s popular. According to Hawthorne, WXOU is meant to give students at Oakland University an outlet to voice their creativity to an audience of listeners and Oakland University students on FM radio (88.3 on the dial).

“A creative outlet is one of the most important things for a person to have,” Hawthorne said. “You can come here, discuss sports, or play music that speaks to you and that you want to share with the world… Essentially you can be yourself here.”

“My job involves a bunch of room for creativity in terms of planning out how we [at the station] want to approach the upcoming year, which I enjoy,” Marczewski said.

This creativity has worked for WXOU in recent history. WXOU was named the College Radio Station of the year by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters for the years 2012, 2013 and 2014.

A few years ago the station had lead vocalist Cameron Boucher from Sorority Noise drop by the station for a visit. The station also had an interview with comedian Kyle Dunnigan a little over a year ago. Former Golden Grizzly point guard and current Cleveland Cavalier point guard, Kay Felder, was interviewed a couple months before he was drafted by the Cavaliers in the second round of the 2016 NBA draft.

As for what’s planned for the upcoming fall and winter semesters at WXOU, the station plans to continue producing content for a wide variety of consumers, unveiling a new RadioFX app for listeners to stream broadcasts and interact easier with the station, while additionally hosting some noteworthy events. The station does plan to go with an updated cast of DJs and personalities, according to Hawthorne.

Marzewsi said some of the events WXOU will be participating in will be: WXOU’s birthday bash in March, will feature live music at the homecoming tailgate in October and will host their annual War of the Worlds broadcast later this fall.

“We started hosting jam sessions last year with members of our community that play instruments, which we are planning to make a regularly occurring event. Also, of course, we always host ticket giveaways weekly, both on air and around campus. We have a lot of stuff in the works, but nothing is confirmed yet in terms of big guests or interviews,” said Hawthorne. “As for what’s on the books for this fall, we have shows like Riley and Rookie for sports heads and News at Noon to keep everyone updated, which is our most popular show on the station.”

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