Its 5:59 on a Tuesday evening and “DJ Vox” or as his friends know him, Zach Scheffler, sits in the big black chair prepping just one minute before going live on the air.
Scheffler is one of 15 DJs who take to the airway each week displaying their musical tastes on Castleton State College’s WIUV radio station. This student-run station has been in operation since 1976 and was relocated into the Campus Center two years ago from the basement of Haskell Hall.
Before he started his show, Scheffler planted himself into the comfy chair turning knobs on the equipment to his right and pushing switches up and down on the enormous panel in front of him. Right before going on, he adjusted the microphone in front of him. Although it looks daunting, Scheffler said the equipment isn’t that hard to use.
DJs like Scheffler seem to love what they do as they play tunes, chat on the air and look for listeners to call them up to break boredom.
“It’s like a sandbox…it can be boring, but always an opportunity to have something fun happen,” Scheffler said.
Students every day pass by the station with giant WIUV letters scrolled across one of the two large widows facing in multiple directions. The problem, DJs say, is that other students have very little idea as to what goes on inside.
Awareness is something that really needs to improve for the station to become better known, said DJ Zakary Mayo.
Mayo said he has had a great experience doing the shows, but said it takes a lot of work. A typical show for Mayo would consist of the first half being all about sports talk, followed by “Cinco de Mayo” in which he’d play the top five hottest songs at the time.
After that would be the “Godlewski Report,” which consisted of public safety issues. The “Manley Minute” followed with relationship advice by Billy Manley.
He then would play three songs called the “Unassisted triple play throwback songs of the day.” The show ended with a 20-minute trivia question where music would be playing while he waited for callers with the answer.
It was a lot of work, but well worth it, Mayo said.
“Being on the air live … gives me a rush,” said Mayo.
Though Mayo had a great time with callers, not everyone got so lucky. Jaren Carpenter, known as “DJ Pit Malt,” received a call during a recent show after pleading with listeners to give him feedback. He happily answered it, only to learn it was from his friend across the room, phone to his ear, pranking him. Carpenter said being a DJ is relaxing and fun.
“It’s like being at the McDonalds ball pit,” said Carpenter.
But while life at WIUV is generally happy, there are things that some say would be cool if improved. Nick Minarik, DJ and general manager of the station, said speakers will soon be installed outside the studio to allow passersby to hear their shows.
“There’s always ways to improve,” said Minarik.
Mike Mitrano, production director of the station, said he likes the direction WIUV is heading in, but he too said there’s always ways to improve. Mitrano is known as “DJ Mouse” and serves as the station’s production director. He said he wants to build on his roster of DJ’s and really get WIUV going.
“Always open, anyone can be a DJ,” said Mitrano. “[My] main goal is to be back to the legacy we used to be,” and “win club of the year.”