BY VALENTINA CAVAL
ESU’s own radio station, WESS 90.3 FM, was so turned on they got a Woodie — an award given by MTVu to the best college radio station in the nation.
“It makes us feel relevant,” Rhiannon Milliard program director of WESS said.
It took Milliard three days for the information to sink in that she was now working for the best college station in the nation.
“I was in disbelief at first,” she said.
The truth came out on Friday, March 14 around midnight when MTVu named WESS the winner of the Woodie award.
Last month MTVu selected WESS as one of the top 10 college radio stations out of thousands across the country. Through public votes, the station made it to the top of the list.
Having not found out they were nominated until a week into the voting period, WESS had a late start.
The station’s members pulled out all the stops. Advisor Rob Mckenzie tackled the university’s administration and landed WESS at the top of ESU’s main web page.
Mckenzie’s holds a strong relationship with WESS — having worked on the station for 22 years now.
He credits the win to the station’s student members.
“If you want a college station to run right, you get the students to operate it,” he said.
The student members pulled their part to get their votes.
From talking to other ESU student organiations to reaching out to their old highschools, WESS members earned the votes they needed to climb to the top of MTVu’s list.
Before getting to the top of the list, WESS had to show off their expertise in various platforms.
MTVu looked at the College Music Journal, which tracks what kinds of music college radio stations are playing, and at the stations’ ranking on the Princeton Review.
Milliard extended a big thank you to WESS music director, Kara Fleck, who is directly involved with the College Music Journal.
“In my opinion, if it wasn’t for Kara we would not have received this award,” she says.
MTVu also measured the station’s social media presence.
And it was through social media that WESS found out they were the winners.
Business Manager of WESS Amanda Woods spread the word on Twitter after waking her parents up in the middle of the night.
“I screamed and almost gave my dad a heart attack,” she joked.
WESS members all said they screamed out in excitement when they heard the news.
“We are able to show the entire country how great we are,” Milliard said.
She has been involved with the station for the past four years, and said she was able to see change and growth in her time there.
WESS members forsee this as a step in the right direction for the station’s future.
“The win brings us to better days and a better future,” says WESS production manager Brandon Borgella.
Email Valentina at: