By KIEL WATSON, Student Life Editor
In 1979, 20 years after the University of Michigan first opened its Dearborn campus, a group of engineering students appropriated school equipment to play vinyl. In the 80’s student members of the station took equipment off campus grounds to prevent the station from being closed and were nearly expelled. Flash forward to the night of September 14, 2017 on the second floor of the University Center and WUMD held its first general body meeting for the fall. The normally spacious-feeling room was packed past capacity with nearly 40 people.
A lot has changed in the nearly 40 years between its pirate radio beginnings for it to become the worldwide-streaming 24-hour station it is today.
Matt Laurinec, producer from the Blaine Fowler Morning Show on 96.3 WDVD, has been coaching the staff this year and helped them develop some format changes.
The content this year will be broken up into programming blocks of similar shows. So, when the classic rock you were enjoying is over the next song won’t be K-pop but instead something similar in style so listeners have more of a reason to stick around.
If you tune in to the station for a full day you will hear a plethora of different styles from jazz, hip hop, classical, rock, top 40, to news and sports.
Station general manager Ashley Baker was very excited about the input from Laurinec, and the introduction of Megaseg professional programming software. The last year and a half has seen a 75 percent increase in the number of shows on the station, and with the meeting turnout that growth is expected to continue.
Baker also spent a good portion of the recent meeting talking about their exciting plans for major campus events that the station is involved in. College Radio Day is Oct. 6, and later in the month WUMD will be handling the DJ duties for Homecoming while also attempting to win the cardboard boat race.
The real excitement begins on Feb. 15th when WUMD hosts the Broken Heart Smash. Eight bands will compete with the audience choosing a winner, and another chosen by guest judges.
If any students are interested in joining WUMD, newcomers are welcome regardless of their major. Keep in mind that the station offers a Mobile Sound DJ service for a wide range of events. Tune in on their website, or on the TuneIn or RadioFX apps.