Student Government elections begin Monday, and this semester, the ballot includes a referendum to increase the student activity fee for two of the largest student media outlets on campus, The Miami Hurricane and WVUM. If it passes, $6 per student will be allocated to and shared between the two organizations.
Our student-run radio station, WVUM 90.5 FM “The Voice of the University of Miami,” reflects the tenacity and inventiveness of UM’s student body. It was started in 1967 as an underground radio station formed by a group of engineering students in Mahoney Residential College. Now, WVUM broadcasts the latest news, independent music, public affairs and sports programming.
WVUM plans to renovate its entire studio and update equipment, which has been in use since the ‘70s. Although everyone at the station has a strong affinity for anything retro, we hope that having access to a more modern, reliable system would mean an improved listening experience for Miami drivers and online streamers internationally.
WVUM is a home for students who play, discover and get involved with the music, news and sports communities in Miami. And it has sprung about fascinating creations. Senior Edith Mora has been DJing at the station for a year and was inspired by the funk and soul hits that we play on our station. She started a specialty show called Rework, in which she plays, edits and remixes ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s dance masterpieces.
Even newcomers who have just started working at the station understand that the station invites a certain kind of intimacy and unique experience. Junior Andres Estrada, who joined this semester, said, “Everyone is working together very closely to make everything work, so it allows you to know people in a way that other kinds of organizations could not provide.”
WVUM has received recognition throughout the years, including the 2011 mtvU Woodie Award for Best College Radio Station in the country. But more importantly, it serves as a gateway for students to achieve their dream jobs as writers, broadcasters, DJs, agents and editors in an industry that is rapidly shifting.
The word “referendum” is the gerund of the Latin verb refero, meaning “bringing back” – as in “bringing the question back to the people.” So we bring our question back to you, readers and listeners, and we hope your answer is yes.
Natasha Mijares is a junior majoring in creative writing.