WRCU’s Board: The Magic behind the Mic

Madison Ballou, Staff Writer

Since 1950, WRCU FM 90.1, Colgate’s student-operated campus radio station, has entertained community members with a wide range of music genres and up-to-date news coverage. Senior Phoebe Metzger-Levitt and sophomores Grace Ashley and Sarah Cryan work to share their love of music with the Hamilton community and beyond by serving on the radio station’s board of directors — Metzger-Levitt is the program director, Ashley acts as the co-music director, and Cryan as the co-publicity director. Each of their contributions allows the show to run 14 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Metzger-Levitt, a peace and conflict studies and Russian and Eurasian studies double concentrator, joined the radio during her first semester on campus. The music-lover from Louisiana and Georgia was new to the world of radio but excited to get involved. Now, her role consists of finding DJs to host shows, creating the station’s weekly schedule and ensuring programming quality. Some of her favorite events to coordinate are live performances. 

“I love knowing that the work I put into the schedule and programming allows students to enjoy college radio and share it with their friends. Last semester, we broadcasted a live show in the station. This show was a tiny-desk-style live session with the band Sadurn. So students could watch the show live and listen over the airwaves,” Metzger-Levitt said. 

Metzger-Levitt also loves scheduling in her fellow board member’s shows, including Ashley’s two-hour weekly show, “Heard Not Seen,” where she plays soundtracks and scores.

Ashley, concentrating in English with an emphasis in creative writing, is responsible for communicating with promoters and getting new music for airplay. She especially appreciates selecting music to be played for the shows each week. 

“We both pick out the rotations for each week from distributors, which is probably the best part of the job. There tends to be a variety of genres because we always want to get new music out to listeners and DJs. The rotations are an incredible way to do that,” Ashley shares. 

As for her own show, Ashley — from Kansas City — views her on-air time as relaxing and gets joy out of sharing her broad taste in music with an audience. 

Cryan, a computer science concentrator from Brooklyn, N.Y., also hosts a weekly show called “Good Morning Hamilton.” Cryan was first introduced to the radio station by drawing her own designs for WRCU; she drew the current sticker designs before even joining the board. Her role now involves this same creativity, as she is responsible for managing the radio’s social media pages and creating merchandise, stickers and poster designs. 

Cryan has loved music since her early childhood but has never been able to hone in on a specific genre, similar to Ashley. 

“I am proud to say that my ‘Spotify Wrapped’ stated that I listened to 300+ genres in the past year — I didn’t even realize there were so many. My dad was always playing 80s, jazz or classical music when I was younger, [which is] perhaps where my love of music began. In pre-K class, I remember being stuck between choosing between the Beatles (pop) and Bob Dylan (rock),” Cryan shared. 

Evidently, WRCU has something enjoyable for any listener: any genre, live or prerecorded. With these board members in charge, WRCU will certainly bring a strong group of music fans together for years to come.