Finding your place in the host of campus clubs and organizations can be a struggle. Trying to not overreact when you hear a senior student say, “What? We have a radio station on campus?” can be a challenge. My station, like many of yours, has had these struggles. We responded with an annual event that I often hear is called “one of the most anticipated campus events of the school year.”
Lisa Marshall, CBI Treasurer.
In 2008, our student government had extra funding after campus group semester allocations were complete. They challenged students that whichever campus group can come up with the best idea to spend this money will be awarded the full amount for a programming event.
That amount was $10,000! Thinking about that pot of money still makes me smile. I remember my student program director walking into my office excited to tell me his idea. “Why don’t we plan a series of events centered on our station? Every day can be a new event. Let’s get our name out there!”
That now annual event is “WMCO Weekend.” For three days every spring semester, we plan events for students and local community. The mission of WMCO Weekend is to promote the station and thank our community for supporting WMCO. Events to date have included: a date auction, car smash, talent show, concerts, Mr. & Mrs. Muskie Contest (our mascot is a Muskie), dodgeball tournament, endurance contest, fireworks, casino night, and a tailgate rally for the basketball team. We always plan at least one live remote to reach out to the listening audience during the weekend. We’ve also hosted the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium’s animal educational program to bring the local community into the mix. Having cute baby animals on campus is always a great draw!
During every event, we give away prizes—including TVs, game consoles, small electronics, donated gift cards from local businesses, and campus bookstore bucks. Our student promotions director creates a new t-shirt design each year for staff members and giveaways. Free stuff, as we know, is a magnet.
Each year we propose a new set of events to our student government for funding. We also solicit additional donations from local businesses through an underwriting campaign. Campus groups and our local arts and recreation district partner with us for co-sponsorships. We kindly ask that attendees provide a donation for local charities upon event entry. We have three “WMCO charities” we support each year. To date, we have raised $2,700 and 2,200 pounds of non-perishable food for our community. The continued generosity of our campus and local audience is always humbling.
DJs Nick Flood and Chris Morgan host a remote during WMCO Weekend 2014.
WMCO Weekend additionally helps our recruitment campaign for new incoming DJs. After the first event in 2008, 32 students enrolled in the new training program course. (I only had room for 15 in my classroom!) To this day, when I ask new DJs about how they found out about our station, there’s always a few that mention WMCO Weekend. They may have not attended the previous year, but have heard about it and want to be a part of the next one.
If you’re attending #CBISeattle, drop by the Registration Table and ask me more about WMCO Weekend. I enjoy bragging about how my students successfully execute such a big event on campus every year.