Due to a lack of technical support and student involvement, WSLN 98.7 FM, Ohio Wesleyan’s student radio station has not been able to broadcast and will remain down until technical repairs can be made.
WSLN serves Delaware, providing an outlet for student expression in the media, while providing entertainment in the form of quality programming and contests to the campus and the community.
In the past, the station had around 30 students directly involved and had active followings on and off campus. The station also had several shows such as “Good Morning OWU,” “The Flipside,” “The Vowelsounds,” “Fizz Radio” and “Daywalker at Night,” in addition to offering a variety of music.
Sophomores Will Conway and Sam Sonnega have taken charge this year as the station’s manager and assistant manager respectively, and have been putting in a lot of time and effort with the help of David Soliday from the IT department.
Conway said that it has been difficult to get the station running again because of the absence of people who understand how to fix the technology necessary to run a radio station.
“It has really been a struggle for me to get the station up and running,” Conway said.
“When I finally had the time to fix the station, the technician wasn’t sure how to install the program onto the computer for web casting. I have only recently gotten in touch with David Soliday from the IT department who helped a bit, but he still wasn’t able to fix it. Last year I almost had a spot with Andrew WK (we were going to do an over the phone interview with him) but it fell through because the station broke down.”
“I think that the school needs to have people who know the system and format of the radio station inside and out,” Conway said. “I know how to use equipment that functions properly and how to instruct people in running a show but I am not a repairman. I’m not Tim Allen from ‘Home Improvement,’ I’m Will Conway, a 20-year-old man who studies classics.”
Soliday agreed that the lack of understanding about how the station runs is interfering in getting the station up and running.
“The biggest difficulty in getting the station back up is a lack of knowledge transfer,” Soliday said.
“The current station managers were given very minimal instructions on how to produce a show, none on how to run the station. So when the computer crashed they weren’t prepared to rebuild everything from the ground up.”
Soliday said while he wants to help set the station up, it will take time to learn how to use the software, called SHOUTCast, and that has been delayed by other, higher priority projects.
He also explained that it is a struggle to get the new technology to work with the old equipment.
“There’s the question of getting the ancient studio equipment to work with a newer computer with web streaming software,” Soliday said. “The cables aren’t even the same size. So our aim now is to get the server working so DJ’s can plug in their iPods or laptops and a laptop microphone.”
Soliday said that he was disappointed that the station was down last semester because he was hoping to have his own show on the station.
“It was only recently that I learned of the depth and details of the challenge.” Soliday said. “Now I can understand, sympathize, and help out.”
In terms of generating awareness and promoting the station, Conway said that much better measures need to be taken to promote the station than have been used in the past.
“What I need to do is to set up a team of people who would want to work on promoting the station and setting up different events that would make people want to listen,” Conway said. “I would love to have interviews with bands that are in the immediate area, which are touring and making their way through Columbus.”
Sonnega said that he wants to have the station on air as soon as possible and hopes to have a variety of shows running.
“I am going to work as hard as possible to get the station on air within the next month,” Sonnega said. “I would like to see a regular school news/sports show as well as a greater involvement with campus activities (especially music), but priority one is getting the place working and cleaned up.”