Words by Maggie Smith
Hypothetical situation: You are a broke college student driving in your car. You should probably forget a couple of things – any given minute, there is a high probability that your probably-shitty car could easily run out of gas, leaving you stranded for a half hour until you remember your mom has AAA. In fact, you are probably driving your parents old mini-van they let you take to college. So in this revised, hypothetical situation, you are totally rolling down the road in your brand new Ferrari, full tank of gas. Red light. What are you going to listen to? You are presented with three options:
First is silence. If your self-expression is so limited that you actively choose the sound of nothing in your daily commutes, I can only send you my most sincere apologies. Life is more beautiful than you can imagine.
The second option is more broad. It is representative of lifestyle of the average college student who hops in the car, takes an auxiliary cord to the iPhone and goes straight to the cheap Spotify playlist entitled “Get Turnt.” While there is certainly a time and place that the “Get Turnt” playlist can exist in peace (specifically: a dimly lit club, around two in the morning), its vague lyrics promoting a materialistic lifestyle while disrespecting women serves what purpose while driving to class at 10 AM? Hey man, I’m glad you are hyped, but you are now parked and it is time to walk to accounting.
I challenge you to choose the third option: turn your FM station left of the dial to WVFS Tallahassee 89.7 FM, Florida State’s only student-run radio station. Haven’t heard of it? You are not alone, but you should get out more. This radio station has been packing a punch in the Tallahassee community since 1987. On air 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the main goal of the station is to provide an alternative to the commercially dominated world of radio. It certainly succeeds in this goal, and with over 25,000 CDs that have been accumulating since since its creation, V89 (as the station is referred to by regular listeners) offers over 20 diverse specialty shows that air weekly to highlight the world of blues, jazz, world, singer/songwriter, club, local music, metal, ska, hip hop, honkytonk, reggae, punk, oldies, 7 inches, swing, spoken word, news, sports, politics, and comedy all in conversation with regular programming that serves to provide the newest indie music.
People say college is all about experimentation. Why limit that experimenting to dimly lit clubs, at two in the morning? Get out of your comfort zone and expand your musical taste. But most importantly, relish in the culture of college radio. This is the place where young students are hard at work navigating through a vast sea of musical options, trying to provide you with exposure to the newest, most diverse music available. Who knows? R.E.M might even be played once.
So next time you are driving in your car, get behind the wheel and choose the third option. It is your duty as an American citizen, as a college student, and, most importantly, as a Florida State Seminole to choose WVFS Tallahassee, The Voice of Florida State.
Okay, one last hypothetical situation. Remember how in the first situation it was important to discard the fact that, as a broke college student, you were probably driving a really shitty car?
This situation is now asking that you fully embrace the idea of being a broke college student. V89 is just a bunch of really broke college students that are volunteering their time to work at radio station that is student-run and non-profit. What if I told you that every four years, WVFS Tallahassee runs their Quadrennial Pledge Drive where donations are solicited both on- and off-air for one week only? Also what if it was known that these donations allow for the station to continue to produce quality programming, buy new equipment, pay for emergency repairs, and fund studio recordings? With none of this possible without the help of the people, in this hypothetical situation, when confronted with the option to donate to a radio station that is in desperate need of your help, what are you going to do?
Here is your chance: starting April 8 and lasting until April 15, WVFS Tallahassee is holding its Quadrennial Pledge Drive and would be more than honored to take all of your money! Every last dime. If that makes you uncomfortable, a $5 donation works too. Help V89 help you by providing all the tunes you need to rock out and make all your hypothetical dreams a reality.