WBOR has an early launch to a crucial year
September 9, 2022
This week, Bowdoin’s student-run radio station, WBOR, broadcast more than 40 radio shows over the FM radio waves to the Brunswick community. With the start of the semester underway, the station’s presence on campus has been felt in force during the past two weeks.
The majority of WBOR’s management team, made up of Emily Herndon ’23, Luke Porter ’23, Patrick Rochford ’23, Jackie Seddon ’23 and Mason Daugherty ’25, were on campus over the summer, and they attribute much of their success early in the year to the time they were able to spend together over the past few months.
Perhaps the most visible of these successes is their early start to the broadcasting season.
“We’re starting shows about one month earlier than we did last year, which is a huge chunk of the semester. We’re feeling really good about that,” Porter said.
Aside from the early start for returning DJs, the management team has dedicated lots of time and resources to informing members of the Class of 2026 about the radio station.
“Unless you have been at Bowdoin for a little while … you’re kind of left in the dark,” Daugherty said. “We wanted to get in the faces of the first-years as soon as possible so that they would develop that interest and start tuning in.”
One way WBOR connected with the first-years was through a CD drop in the first-year bricks, with each CD containing a custom playlist made by management. Each CD has Spotify and Apple Music links, providing a tangible gift for students to be introduced to WBOR.
The station is making several compelling changes this year, including bringing live performances to the radio waves. Equipment bought by the WBOR this past year, in combination with gear that Dudley Coe was previously outfitted with, will allow artists to perform live on the radio.
“Traditionally we’ve also been really big advocates for music on campus and student performances,” Herndon said. “In general, being able to use our budget to support student bands on campus will be a really good thing.”
Daugherty has been working towards making WBOR’s extensive records and music collection accessible to the broader Bowdoin community.
“I’m about to chat with the music library and possibly the greater library at Bowdoin about solutions to integrate our collection of music into their holdings,” Daugherty said. “So that every student on campus could benefit from it—not just members of the club.”
However, the future of WBOR’s current studio location is up in the air, as the upcoming demolition of Dudley Coe looms large. Student Activities is in the process of selecting the station’s new location, but WBOR’s management feels left in the dark.
“WBOR has been heavily left out of the conversation. In fact, there’s been no consultation with us that we haven’t initiated,” Daugherty said. “The most up-to-date answer I have for you is that Student Activities is drafting potential blueprints for a variety of locations within [Smith Union].”
Another important part of the station’s future location is making sure that the new space will be accessible for all students.
“We never want our love for the space to be misconstrued as want[ing] the station to be inaccessible and secret. We want it to be a place for everyone,” Herndon said.
For now, WBOR is on the rise in the minds of campus DJs and listeners alike.
“We’re gonna set a record-breaking semester in terms of how full our broadcasting schedule is and the general interest in the club, which is really exciting,” Daugherty said.
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