The University of Richmond's student-run radio station, WDCE 90.1 FM, is seeking a transmission power-boost, which would increase the station's broadcast range from its current nine-mile radius to almost 25 miles.
"Our goal this year is to really help get the word out and get people to listen," said Whitney Cavin, a Westhampton College senior and WDCE's program director.
WDCE features 50 different music and talk shows a week hosted by student and local DJs, according to the station's website. All DJs are volunteers, who bring their own musical style to the airwaves.
Cavin has been working with WDCE as a DJ since last fall and now, as program director, she is in charge of organizing the schedule at the start of each semester, training new DJs and making sure they know when they have to come in, she said.
Cavin said the station was raising money for the transmission power-boost. "What we're doing now is getting our funds together," Cavin said. "We're talking about having a fundraising concert in November, which will hopefully raise some money and we're talking to alumni." She said the deadline for this project was March 2013.
Senior Andrew Brown is the general manager of WDCE and has been involved with the station since his sophomore year.
"Commitment is getting better, but it's tough because the younger students don't always get involved right away," Brown said. "We've had little hiccups along the way but this year we've been strong." Brown said the program couldn't run without the local DJs, many of whom have strong fan bases in the Richmond community.
James Murphy, a 2008 graduate who works in the university communications office, hosts "Chat/Noise" from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays. Murphy said he joined WDCE as soon as he could his freshman year, and moved to the executive staff after about a year.
"One of the things that really drew me to it is it's just such a community that you were a part of," Murphy said. He mentioned that student involvement dipped around the time he graduated, but during the past two years it had "skyrocketed back up."
Murphy said the move from the old studio in Tyler Haynes Commons to the North Court studio four years ago had been a massive change and a huge step forward for the station.
Seniors Gray Delany, Robert Kettlewell and Madeline Small co-host "The Final Countdown," the only talk show on WDCE. The show focuses on politics and current events, and past guests have included Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, President Edward Ayers and coach Chris Mooney.
"There was a market to have a talk show on campus," Delany said."It's difficult to get students to go to events and get involved in subjects that are outside of their direct major, just to be more culturally aware."
Kettlewell said they had a lot of fun interviewing students after Pig Roast for the "Drunken Roast Recap," and they planned to do more segments like that. He also said listeners could look forward to "Professor Spotlight" segments, which would feature professors talking about their fields.
Unlike other programs, talk-based radio takes more preparation: writing questions, scheduling guests and preparing research, according to the hosts. Delany and Kettlewell said they spent three to four hours a week preparing, outside of the actual show time. They'd tried to "wing it" a few times, said Delany, but had ended up with a terrible product.
When asked about audience size and impact, Kettlewell said: "One of the biggest parts of a talk-based radio show is the callers and feedback and that's something we can feed off of. We'd love some different opinions that could stimulate some debate."
"The Final Countdown" is the only program on WDCE with its own Podcast, but it's better when people tune in live because they're able to call in and react, he said.
In an email, Herb King, the station's music director, said good shows to listen to were "Lisa Loving," which airs from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays, and "The House of Oz" which airs from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays.
To listen, tune into 90.1 FM or visit WDCE's website to live stream any show to a computer.
The full schedule and online streaming option is available at http://wdce.org/schedule.php.