|WBKE Continues to Rock MU's Airwaves|
Manchester University’s radio station, WBKE, started as a small noise that could only be heard in the residence halls of North Manchester, but now it has its own office in the Otho Winger Memorial Hall and broadcasts from around 6 p.m. through midnight. It is on 89.5 FM and is the sister station of WBOI, an affiliate of National Public Radio.
WBKE is a source of education and news targeting the audience of North Manchester. In its mission statement, it claims to be a tool to sharpen aspiring radio station managers and DJs. As it is run mostly by students, much needed experience is inevitably gained by the majority of its staff. Still, the station has a strong role of promoting music in Manchester.
Manchester's radio station is, as most radio stations are today, influenced by classic rock. Bands such as Coldplay and other popular musicians occupy its frequency in the late hours. However, it is also major sponsor in many local music events. Past sponsored events include the Battle of the Bands event on April 27 and Chet Fest, which is a competition of bands that ends with the champion band opening for a hired professional band.
In the near future, WBKE will be hosting a fall concert in Wampler Auditorium on Nov. 30. The event is free to students and Trackless, the champion of the last Battle of the Bands competition and opener in the Chet Fest, will be playing. The 2013 Chet Fest is currently being arranged. In the past, Manchester has featured bands such as Stroke 9 and The Knux as their professional performers. The next big band has yet to be confirmed.
Formany universities, a personal radio station goes hand-in-hand with a mascot and college anthem. It plays on the communal spirit and defines those attending it. WBKE, also known as “The Voice of Manchester,” is obviously defined by its college and speaks for it. For such a small university as North Manchester's, it is surprising to see such an active station. Such a program shouldn't be wasted on its audience. Students are encouraged as always to attend its music programs, listen to its weekly news and appreciate its music.
An idea was posed by the Residence Hall Association that WBKE return to its roots by installing speaker systems in residence halls tuned to its frequency. No official plans have been made, but the faculty advisor of the station, Megan Fetters, expresses her enthusiasm in making the station a “big thing” in the Manchester's daily routine.