90.5 WERG earns another award

90.5 WERG earns another award

Gannon University’s student-run radio station, 90.5 WERG, has won the Spirit of College Radio Award for 2014.

The award is given to five college radio stations each year and is presented through the College Radio Foundation.

The College Radio Foundation is a nonprofit organization that aims to raise awareness of the many college and high school radio stations that operate in the United States.

The foundation supports noncommercial high school and college radio stations and also aims to accelerate the professional development of student broadcasters.

WERG won the award along with KLC Radio at Lewis & Clark University; KTXT-FM at Texas Tech; WDSR at DeSales University and WIKD-FM at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Since 2011, College Radio Day has been taking place each fall and is currently the fastest growing international college radio movement in the world.

President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden have both officially proclaimed and recognized the importance of this annual event.

In 2012, the event was launched by Coldplay’s Chris Martin.

Since 2013, more than 700 college stations in more than 43 countries have participated in College Radio Day.

College Radio Day has also been featured in publications such as The New York Times, USA Today and The Washington Post.

This year, College Radio Day was Oct. 3 and WERG made it into a week-long event, with a variety of events including live remote broadcasts on campus, giveaways and participation in the national college radio simulcast.

One of the highlights of WERG’s college radio week was the Walk-Up-and-Win contest during the 11 a.m. “free period” when there is heavy traffic in the Waldron Campus Center.

Students broadcast live, on location with the station playing in the building and used social media to reward listeners with free pizza coupons from Little Caesar’s.

Another highlight of the week was Wednesday night’s weekly Fazed Cookies show.

The show always features local acts performing live in-studio, so WERG tied that into “College Radio Week.”

All that week, WERG posted multiple updates on its various social media platforms, such as its website, Facebook and Twitter.

Updates consisted of information about College Radio Day, giveaways and the simulcast that was aired Oct. 3.

The simulcast was aired by hundreds of college radio stations across the country and included interviews with The Lumineers and Sean Astin, as well as live performances from various artists.

Chet LaPrice, operations manager for WERG, was the proprietor  for “College Radio Week.” He went above and beyond to bring college radio awareness to Erie.

LaPrice said he was happy to be a part of the excitement.

“2014 was a great year for WERG Radio at Gannon,” LaPrice said. “Our students have always been talented writers, producers and performers, and it is wonderful to now see that work being acknowledged and rewarded on a national level.”

Ted Hallowell, a senior communication arts major and general manager for WERG, said he was glad that WERG was singled out for its excellence.

“I feel that it’s really cool to be recognized by the College Radio Foundation for this event that we’ve been doing for a few years now,” Hallowell said. “There are so many college stations that participate in College Radio Day nonetheless.”

Adam Cervera, a sophomore communication arts major and assistant music director for WERG, said he was happy to be a part of WERG.

“I feel it’s a good learning experience with lots of opportunity to bring in my own ideas,” Cervera said. “It’s also a plus to not be a part of a pop station.”

Anthony Saia, incoming president for College Radio Day, is also involved in a college radio station, KUOI 89.3 FM at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho.

Saia said he felt their College Radio Day was a large success.

His radio station played the simulcast, participated in the World College Radio Day Global Marathon and had a “Dig Party” where DJs held an on-campus local area network party.

“While the day was successful for us, we always feel that we can do better,” Saia said. He also said that he hopes to make the 2015 College Radio Day  “the biggest and best to come.”

The Spirit of College Radio Award rounded out an impressive year for WERG. The station was honored with the Abraham & Borst “Best College Station in the Nation” award at the most recent Intercollegiate Broadcasting System Conference and moved into a new studio in the university’s new Center for Communication and the Arts in the fall.

Students from the WERG management staff will be traveling to New York City in March with hopes of defending their “Best College Station in the Nation” title.

SAMANTHA GRISWOLD

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