If you’ve ever been to the WVOF office, you know just how comfortable it feels to be there. With posters covering every inch of the walls and the student staff always hanging out there, it’s like you’re coming home from a long day at work, even if you’ve never stepped foot in the office before.
WVOF is the student-run radio station at Fairfield University, and it’s one of the oldest clubs on campus. In fact, they’re celebrating their 50th anniversary this spring. The station plays 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is on 88.7 FM. Their team includes Mike Kabai, station manager, Nick Hudock, director of marketing and events, Alex Perugini, music director and Lauren Miolene, promotions and media director,
WVOF came from humble beginnings in the spring of 1970. It was originally a carrier current radio station which is popular amongst low power broadcasting. WVOF was only available in the quad of campus. They housed their station in the basement of Regis Hall until 2002 when they were moved to the lower level of the Barone Campus Center, right next to the FUSA office.
The relevance of radio has significantly changed since 1970. Podcasting in particular has grown exponentially, and, although it’s seemingly hurting radio in the worldly sense, it’s only helping WVOF. Podcasting has become such an influential phenomenon that has inspired students to do similar types of media.
“Podcasts are so mainstream these days that it means so many students are exposed to them,” Kabai said.
In fact, some students even convert their broadcasts into audio files to post on SoundCloud and Spotify as podcasts.
WVOF have two studios: the web studio and the FM studio. Both studios broadcast on FM and online. They can also broadcast live games for sports. With their new equipment they’ve acquired over the years, they can broadcast from anywhere. WVOF often covers basketball games at the Webster Bank Arena and the MAAC championship in Albany, New York.
WVOF is always looking for new hosts to pitch their idea, and there’s nothing too obscure to put on air. Although music and sports shows are most popular, there are several general talk shows that air on different weeknights. There are so many shows that feature unique and interesting subjects, like Rock in a Hard Place, which covers the specific type of music of Nu Metal, or The Stand Up Hour, which is a weekly talk show about stand up comedy and how it has changed over the years.
Also, although many of the shows have student hosts, there are also people from the community that contribute to WVOF. Compared to recent years, WVOF’s shows have tripled in number.
More than anything, WVOF has grown to serve the students of Fairfield University. Throughout their 50 years, they’ve allowed students to come out of their shell and share their passions.
“The beauty about this place is that any kid has a platform to say what they want and have their voice heard,” Hudock said.
WVOF’s goal for the future is just to keep the radio station alive. As a group of all seniors, they want to grow and expand the station even more than it has already expanded in order to keep students interested.
“We want to make sure the station is still thriving ten years from now for the 60th anniversary,” Kabai said.