WKCO (91.9) does not have drawings on the wall in their new studio in Peirce Dining Hall. This is something the radio station’s general managers said they miss the most about their old space. When the studio was located underneath Farr Hall, the scribblings on the wall gave WKCO an aesthetic that made the place feel like it was independent of the College. While the managers are making the best of the space they have, it’s hard to recapture this feeling on the third floor of the dining hall.
“It is such a bummer because students love expressing themselves by drawing on the walls every year,” Stephanie Holstein ’18, one of the managers, said. “But we have Post-Its, which is about as much as we can do.”
This unfamiliarity has been a recurring struggle for WKCO this year. After a forced move due to the renovation of Farr Hall, the WKCO general managers are trying to establish a sense of place for the station while they wait for their transition back into the renovated building next year.
This has led to a question that WKCO usually doesn’t hear: “Where are you now?” They also face a lack of exposure to the first-year class.
The station also got a new website — wkco919.org — but had to change their domain name. Over winter break, a website advertising adult content bought the domain wkco.org while it was briefly available, compelling them to alert the College to take their original website off of all their official brochures and pamphlets. On the bright side, their new website may allow them to sell t-shirts online, which will give them the ability to increase their revenue.
For a while, the managers were also worried about the fate of the WKCO record collection. Because they did not have a space for the records, they started selling them, hoping to find them a new home while they waited for the College to grant WKCO a space where they could store them.
This led to a largely successful records sale that amounted to $600. Chief Business Officer Mark Kohlman also told WKCO that they can use the loft of Colburn Hall as a recording studio as well as a temporary storage space. Kohlman said they can move into the space sometime next week.
“We have had a feeling of misplacement, so I feel like having a place to store the records is symbolic of that they do understand our position in the community,” Holstein said. “It is slow-moving, but that’s the College administration, the red tape.”
Jake Zeisel ’19, a recording specialist for WKCO, said that while the College has offered to help move their equipment, he will be largely responsible for setting it all up in the new space. In general, he does not think the administration has been helpful to WKCO during the transition. He said the College originally wanted to move WKCO into the Wright Center in Mount Vernon, but they had to tell Kohlman that it wouldn’t work, since none of them had cars.
Daniela Grande ’20, a music director, said WKCO is still operating successfully, despite the setbacks that come with moving to a new location. They are already planning their annual WKCO Fest at the same time as Social Board’s Spring Festival. This year, however, they will not feature alumni bands, and they will limit the number of the bands who perform, hoping to keep the event around six hours instead of the usual 12.
The managers are optimistic about the direction in which WKCO is heading, even if they lack their usual sense of place this year.
“We definitely feel like we’re more under the College’s domain, being in Peirce. That’s kind of essentially our student union as of now. So it will be nice to get to our old location,” Holstein said. “But we’re making the best of our space here. We made it colorful, we made it homey.”
Holstein and other members decorated the walls with posters, drawings and fabric in an attempt to bring back the old feel of the space ― but, for WKCO, there’s no place like home.