WZBC Launches $30K Fundraiser for Renovation

Boston College’s radio station, WZBC, has launched a fundraiser in order to help with an upcoming remodel of its studios in McElroy 107. The fundraiser is officially taking place from Oct. 12 through Oct. 21, but there will be a link for online donations online up until Nov. 4.

“All of our equipment purchases and updates to that kind of stuff are done by us,” said Jackie Foley, the general manager of the station and CSON ’19. “We don’t like having to ask BC for more money, because they’re already giving us this beautiful space.”

The remodel will include updates to make the studios meet fire code, as well as the expansion of some hallways to be more compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Other renovations include the addition of podcast studio and a larger space in order to host bands.

One of the proposed additions is floor to ceiling shelving that can hold the 30,000 physical albums WZBC has in its collection. By redoing that, Foley said she hopes DJs will engage more with the entire library when it is more readily at their fingertips.

The radio station has been a part of BC since it began in 1964. The current station is both on air at 90.3 FM and streaming online. Foley is encouraging students to participate in and promote the fundraiser for the upcoming remodel of the space as it approaches its $30,000 goal. In addition, students can get involved with the station if they are interested, as some programming and areas are intended to serve as training for newcomers to the station.

WZBC has a 12-person student board and is entirely student-run. There are program directors and a faculty adviser who can share their input with the board, but all programming is decided by students. One of the more unusual programs run on the station is called NCP, or No Commercial Potential. It explores the boundaries between what is noise and what is music.

Programming at the station runs from about 8 a.m. through midnight every day and often goes until 1 or 2 a.m. There are about 100 active DJs who produce programming for the station, and several are community members who have hosted shows for over a decade.

Part of the history of space is reflected in the upcoming remodel process itself.

“One of the students who originally designed this place, Steve Briggs, is now an audio engineer [and] is coming back in a professional capacity to advise us on making the new station,” Foley said.

The station’s most memorable moment in its history was easy for Foley to identify.

“Nirvana came in the day that Nevermind was released,” Foley said.

While the fundraiser and remodel are exciting, many students and faculty will be sad to part with the current space. Right now, the station has wood paneling that has been up since the ’70s, and is almost entirely covered by stickers and posters.

“We’re excited to get set up and sustain more in the future, but also, we have some of these stickers,” Foley said. “There’s one from September 1996, which is basically when I was born. So it’s a balance of wanting to get set up for the future … but also, acknowledge our roots of this driving force and the Boston music scene and history.” 

Featured Image by Kaitlin Meeks / Heights Editor