By Crystal Smith
Asst. A&E Editor
On April 25, MTV representatives journeyed to ESU to present WESS 90.3 FM with the prestigious Woodie Award.
The award, made of wood with a spike through the center and a hammer on the bottom, was heavier than the WESS deejays expected—heavy with their accomplishments.
It was a mix of emotions when students, faculty, and press gathered in the small radio station with the “on air” light glowing over their heads.
90.3 FM WESS is a completely student run college radio station with a non-commercial, diversified playlist that plays what a college student wants to hear.
Along with their music, the station also hosts talk shows, including news and sports, to suit the students’ lifestyles and a wide variety of deejays.
The radio station also broadcasts ESU Warrior Sports including home basketball, football, and baseball games.
WESS Advisor, Dr. Robert McKenzie started the live broadcast by introducing the MTV representative, Carlo DiMarco who is the Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Development for MTV Networks.
“The college radio Woodie is probably my personal favorite in the Woodie Awards category because it really represents the student body,” said DiMarco.
Back in 2004, the Woodie Award Ceremony was born in New York City and consisted of a small production studio.
The idea behind the Woodie Awards is to recognize the bands and musicians who are not selling millions of records, but are peaking at around 50,000.
It showcases the bands and musicians for their dedication to their musical craft before they embark on bigger stages. One of which included Macklemore progressing from the Woodie stage to the Grammy stage in only one year.
“The music labels are really excited for it because it is an entree for bands to really break onto the scene,” said DiMarco.
In 2014, there were over 100 nominated college radio stations for the Woodie award and MTV narrowed it down to the top 10 universities.
ESU had a quarter of the enrollment of competing universities that included Berkeley, Boston University, and University of Illinois.
“At the end of the day this becomes a prize about voting. It’s lighting up the student body to show their loyalty to their school and their passion and support at the radio station—and you guys killed it,” said DiMarco.
DiMarco ended by inviting the deejays to keep in touch with MTV, even after they graduate.
After MTV presented the Woodie, Dr. McKenzie invited the ESU faculty and students to share their own thoughts and feelings about winning the prestigious award.
“I am very excited to be here and this is quite an accomplishment. It has been a long time coming. This award is for them,” said Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Doreen Tobin.
The WESS Station Manager, Jill Monica, spoke about her experience winning the award.
“I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who voted and to my staff. I did not even expect this outcome, but it’s the greatest opportunity I’ve ever had. You guys are all wooden and we are going to be thrilled about this for the next-forever,” said Monica.
Reed Milliard, Program Director, spoke on her experience with the station and winning the Woodie Award.
“We couldn’t have won this without all the awesome deejays,” said Milliard.
Music director Kara Fleck expressed how she felt when she first found out they had won; she didn’t think it was real.
“I love this station a lot and the fact that it has happened for us over the past three years working here, it means so much. I love every single person who has worked here so thank you for giving me the best three years of my life,” said Fleck.
And thank you WESS for making ESU proud.
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