For the past 60 years, WIDR (originally coined “In-Dorm Radio”), Western Michigan University’s student-run radio station, has been a huge part of the entertainment community in Kalamazoo.
Unfortunately, much of WIDR’s equipment is just as old as the radio station.
In addition to equipment, radio stations like WIDR are responsible for paying for a number of operational costs that are necessary to keep the business afloat.
To raise funds for next year’s budget, WIDR is staying true to tradition by throwing a week-long party located in various entertainment hot spots in Kalamazoo.
“Basically [WIDR Week] is about helping out local bands and giving back to the community,” said Dylan Grushoff, Business Director of WIDR.
WIDR is part of the Student Media Group that is asking students for a $5 fee that would fund student media at WMU. Students can vote on this issue during the Western Student Association election March 25-29.
“The funds raised during WIDR Week do not fulfill the needs for a fully functional radio station,” said Grace Roeder, Program Director of WIDR.
Roeder said that because much of WIDR’s equipment is outdated, the student media fee would help to improve the radio station and bring it up to speed with the rest of the radio industry, whereas the profits of WIDR Week will help simply enable WIDR to remain functioning as it has in the past. The funds from WIDR Week are essential to pay for some of the immediate needs of the radio station, such as music licensing, equipment maintenance and website licensing.
WIDR Week will kick off Fri., March 15 with WIDRAMA at the 411 Club, located 411 Westnedge Ave., Kalamazoo.
“Basically it’s a way to get local Kalamazoo bands on a stage and get them recognized,” said Grushoff. “WIDRAMA is really about helping out local bands and giving back to the community. We’re more than just a radio station.”
For $4, community members can see four local hip hop/funk and soul bands: Air Job, Jah Connery, Me3mind’s Joel Rydecki and Friends and Truth Tone Records, beginning at 10 p.m.
By the end of WIDR Week, the directors hope to reach their goal of raising $25,000. Supporters of WIDR can make contributions to the radio station’s efforts by attending the events, or by calling (269) 387-6303 or by visiting their website.
WIDR Week will continue until Sunday, March 24. A full list of events can be found on the flier below.