By Lexi Weaver || Copy Editor
If you’ve ever ventured up to the second floor in CC, you’ve probably caught a glimpse of the radio booth, which is home to 89.1 WFNM, Franklin and Marshall’s independent radio station. Offering a space for students, faculty, and staff to express themselves through a radio show, WFNM truly embodies its motto of “Radio Lives.” WFNM spans a 30-mile radius on local FM radio and often offers a streaming link for those without a radio or outside of Lancaster. The radio station has been a fixture of campus life for 50 years and is open for any and all students who want to share their interests and love of music. With a wide array of shows to listen to, there’s a reason for everyone to tune into WFNM.
Speaking with DJs both student and staff, it is clear that those involved with WFNM are incredibly passionate about sharing their love of music with listeners near and far. “WFNM is a place where I can spend an hour every week sharing what I love with the wider F&M and Lancaster community. It is a fantastic way to bring the Lancaster community into the F&M experience through our friendships with non-student DJs and outside listeners.” explained sophomore DJ Ryan Squires. He hosts a show on Friday mornings called “Deep Dive with Ryan” focusing on exploring the catalog of his favorite bands and artists. He also described how radio has served as a way to stay connected with his friends and family back home, as well as to facilitate a sense of community between F&M and listeners in Lancaster.
WFNM has also provided a space for self-expression for senior DJ Jonathan Montero Vidal. “As a Hispanic man on campus, I have little to no opportunities to show part of myself and [my] culture with the rest of the community. Other than Mi Gente Latina and its small events, there are few opportunities for me to showcase some of my personality. I have found that WFNM has been the perfect way to share some of my culture through the music I play and the things I like.” He expressed that WFNM not only provides a safe space for its DJs, but also that it gives them opportunities to play music that is often not heard on traditional radio stations. Students can share a wide range of music, regardless of genre, which introduces listeners to artists and musical styles they may never have listened to.
Radio, especially since last year took place largely online for underclassmen, has been a way for current sophomores to get involved on campus. This has been true for Aaron Puerzer, who explained that “having an outlet to share the music I like is really great for me and being able to do it every Friday gives me something great to look forward to all week.” He continued, “I was also very excited to become a station manager this semester and get way more involved with WFNM. I’m a sophomore, and because of the pandemic I wasn’t able to really do anything with radio last year, so this has just been a really positive experience for me.”
The radio station is additionally home to shows hosted by F&M staff. “Being a DJ is so much fun,” shared Deborah Lynch. She also described her reasons for starting a show: “A few years ago after my mom passed, my husband and I decided to do a show. I was having health issues, and this show helped me so much with the anxiety that plagued me. After working all day here at F&M cleaning toilets and cleaning up after kids, doing a show is so wonderful.” WFNM is an integral part of the F&M community as it encourages involvement from students and staff alike.
If you have a radio on hand, be sure to tune in to 89.1 to listen to WFNM’s diverse selection of radio shows, or listen online at go.fandm.edu/wfnm. Furthermore, if you’re interested in having a show of your own, there is a spot for you on the radio. No Show, No Show for the spring semester will take place on January 22nd and 23rd at 8:00 for anyone interested in hosting a radio show; more information will be available as the date approaches. Radio is a place to express yourself and share your passion with listeners on campus and beyond—as the semester draws to a close, take an hour this week to support the talented DJs sharing their love for music on WFNM.
Sophomore Lexi Weaver is a Copy Editor. Her email is email@example.com.