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WBRS, offering ‘Something for Everyone’

Published: December 5, 2014
Section: Features


Currently, WBRS is Brandeis University’s sole student run radio station. WBRS broadcasts 24/7 to Brandeis University, Waltham and its surrounding towns. WBRS facilities are located on the Brandeis campus with studios on the third floor of the Shapiro Campus Center and features a transmitter on top of the Rabb Graduate Center.

WBRS’ motto is “something for everyone.” Living true to its motto, the station encourages all artists, radio services and labels to contribute material to be played. According to their website, “WBRS prides itself on also being able to provide Brandeis University’s student body with a diverse array of services.” This includes providing the Brandeis student body with concerts and live music events, DJ training and certification and the ability to rent equipment. Additionally, for those interested in pursuing careers in media or broadcasting, WBRS also offers professional development services.

WBRS is completely student-run, according to Tahlia Quartin ’18. Having become the host of an Indie Styles show this year, she noted how many students were involved. “One of the most impressive things about WBRS to me is the fact that we have the third largest record collection in New England. While this is relatively unknown, this aging asset is not only for the station, but for the whole university.”

WBRS first started at Brandeis University in the 1950s. At the time it was named WLDB, originally representing Louis Dembitz Brandeis’ initials. In 1964, however, members of the radio station decided to change its name to the current title: Brandeis Radio Service. At the time, WBRS broadcasted to only the Brandeis campus. However, four years later, in 1968, WBRS managed to obtain an FM radio license. This provided the station with the ability to broadcast to further distances within Massachusetts. Always expanding, in the 1980s, WBRS became an all-genre cooperative community radio station. In addition, that year WBRS developed a new constitution and was able to institute a membership contract. In fact, this constitution still remains in service today.

Brandeis University’s radio station today hosts many programs that broadcast all genres. At the moment, there are three main departments within the station, the first being for music. This is its largest department, with over 30 shows broadcasted each week. Not including the on-air programs, this department is largely in charge of WBRS’s large physical and digital music collections.

The second department within WBRS is the sports department. This department is the broadcast home of each Brandeis athletic event. However, the shows within the sports department do not simply limit themselves to Brandeis sporting events. There are some sports shows on WBRS that conduct interviews with athletes and teams as well as ones that cover professional sports.

The third department at WBRS is solely dedicated to reporting news. This department provides opportunities for students to host their own shows where they talk about a variety of subjects. Currently, WBRS has shows that cover breaking news, politics, anthropological news, weekly headline overviews and more.

“There are many ways to get involved with WBRS,” says Quartin. The radio station is always looking for new people to join. However, beyond hosting a show, “you can recommend music to be played, or stop by anytime to simply visit or to learn more about WBRS.” Quartin encourages anyone who has an interest in radio broadcasting to consider becoming involved.

For those interested in learning when a specific show will be on the air, the WBRS website provides a full listing of all those available each week. Additionally, stop by the third floor of the Shapiro Campus Center, or tune in to WBRS 100.1 FM at any time to listen in.