If you have ever found yourself on the second floor of the Plangere Center of Communication, chances are you have passed the WMCX studio. WMCX (or 88.9 FM), Monmouth’s student-run radio station, is one of roughly 600 college radio stations across the United States. An FM licensed station since May 2, 1974, the opportunity to host a radio show is open to students of any major, employees, community members, or alumni.
Focusing on alternative/modern rock music as well as many special segments, like talk shows and other genres, this always-on-the-air radio station is a key part of Monmouth’s communication Department Aaron Furgason, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Communication and Faculty Advisor of WMCX, said, “Students are involved in WMCX because they have aspirations to work in the radio industry or they are on-air because they are passionate about a genre of music, a topic or just for the fun experience of broadcasting their thoughts and favorite music to the entire world.”
Students are given the chance to talk and showcase whatever they please. One of the shows that occurs on Tuesdays from 11:00 a.m. to noon is “E Squared,” which brings two high school best friends together to reflect on memories and have a casual, laid-back conversation.
Emily Maxim, a junior social work student, is one half of “E Squared.” The other half is Elena Worton, a junior music industry student.
Maxim said, “‘E Squared’ focuses on being ourselves and just having a laid-back conversation about anything. We laugh on the show, make jokes, and talk about how much we both love Big Time Rush. It’s a good time and helps me destress. We love to talk about our experiences with marching band, as well as what we do together because I consider Elena one of my closest friends.”
Worton added, “What I enjoy most about doing a show with another person is having the opportunity to bounce ideas off of someone. It’s a whole different experience having someone in the room with you, as opposed to just chilling behind the mic by yourself. Emily and I have great chemistry and great conversations. It’s so special to share the radio experience every week. It’s like we’re creating more memories live on the air.”
Maxim continued, “The thing I enjoy most about WMCX is talking with Elena on a show together and playing whatever music we love. Because I am a transfer student, it helps me get involved and see what the school has to offer.”
Students are also given the opportunity to play music they enjoy listening to on their own. One person who takes advantage of this is Gianna Barwald, a senior political science student. Every Monday from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., she plays only femme-fronted punk and other rock bands. She also shares a show with Chloe Gosk, a freshman, on Thursdays from 3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Barwald said, “Although I’m new to college radio, I have been really enjoying it. I think it’s a great way to step out of your comfort zone and try something new while also being able to play and share your favorite tunes. I also like the amount of creative freedom the station gives us in terms of what can be played or talked about during our time within FCC guidelines. WMCX is overall an awesome place to grow and hone in real radio experience.”
Not only does WMCX play songs and host talk shows, they also invite any music and music industry majors to showcase their original pieces on Wednesdays from 10:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. under the segment “Blue Hawk Records.” In the past, they have also hosted artists like Kase, Girlhouse, and Aly & AJ as special guest for all to listen.
Special campus events may also be covered, like October’s Homecoming game, with live coverage of the football game.
Worton said, “There are so many benefits of joining WMCX. I always thought I’d be bored by just ‘talking and playing music.’ I’m a performer at heart. It’s great being able to share my voice and bond with others on the air. I feel like I’ve found another type of performing that I truly enjoy.”
WMCX is an important part to campus culture and students can always tune in to listen to other students interests, music, and talk shows.