WVKR features a variety of new student shows

Image courtesy of WVKR via WVKR.org.

Vassar College’s radio station, WVKR, provides a platform for student DJs to share their sound with an audience on campus and beyond. Acadia Lequire ’26 comments on the uniqueness of the WVKR, saying, “[Vassar] has a real station that you can tune into, whereas a lot of other colleges have turned to streaming online.” Each fall, students can pitch new show concepts and submit a playlist for consideration. The application also involves an interview, and once you land a spot, new DJs enter a lottery to get their show time for the year. This year, the station has 19 new student shows; below, I highlight just a few new DJs and the inspirations for their shows.

Naked Radio: Acadia Lequire ’26

Listen at 9 a.m. on Sundays

Lequire’s show “Naked Radio” is driven by stories of all kinds. She says, “[My] main goal was to make a show about people’s personal connection to music as a reminder that there’s no objective good music or bad music.” Lequire believes that what a song means to you or how it connects to your life is more important than other people’s opinions.

Lequire explains, “I tell stories on the radio about specific people that I’ve taken stories from or interviewed about what a song or album meant to them.” She also tries to tie in stories about how her home state of Tennessee has influenced music history.

Some of her stories come from a very special 18th birthday gift. She describes, “I’ve always had this collection of cassettes, and most of them are given to me by family members with a story in them about why that cassette was important to them around when they were 18 and going to college.” One older cousin wrote to her to say his Dad was so mad that the first cassette he bought was an explicit Warren G album that he melted it in the toaster oven. Lequire says that this story gave her a glimpse into her cousin’s childhood, and now she always thinks of him when listening to that album.

Lequire can always pull from this collection of personal stories, but she doesn’t think she’ll have a problem finding new ones citing the multitude of new people she has met—all of whom contain countless personal stories. She believes you can learn a lot about people through their music, explaining, “If you ask people questions about themselves they like to share and they’ll tell you about their whole life when you ask them about a song that they really liked when they were 18.”

When prepping for shows, Lequire  told me that she likes to do research on the songs that she intends to play; specifically looking for connections to Tennessee. She adds that because she is finding new music through other people’s connections to it, her playlists often include songs she hasn’t heard before. Lequire is also inspired by the thousands of CDs at the station, saying, “What I can’t wait to do is delve into that collection. I want to wean off of online music and take advantage of all the CDs they have and find new music that way.” 

Karuta: Sachi Joo ’25

Listen at 10 a.m. on Mondays

For each show, exchange student Sachi Joo ’25 centers her music programming around one word. The show title, “karuta,” comes from the word-based Japanese card game of the same name. Joo explains, “In my show, I go through the ABCs and I think of Japanese words that start with that letter, and then I make playlists that go along with that meaning.” Joo says this method helps structure her planning but that really she lets the music drive her choices. She told me, “I have songs that I think are good and would want people to listen to, and then I make that a more abstract theme.”

Joo’s sets include half-English and half-Japanese music, with some conversation explaining Japanese language and culture mixed in between. As an exchange student from Tokyo, Joo seeks to incorporate her culture into her time on the air. Joo hopes that music can be a unique way to expose people to her culture, noting, “I want people to be more exposed to things about Japan that they otherwise wouldn’t have been in contact with.”

Earworms for Bookworms: Liv Dussere ’25

Listen at 1 a.m. on Tuesdays

On her show, Liv Dussere ’25 plays music inspired by books. Dussere’s inspiration for starting a radio show stemmed from her passion for making playlists to process what she’s going through at the time. She explains, “Part of the reason [I picked this theme] was because I’m trying to incentivize myself to read more.” For example, Dussere is currently reading To The Lighthouse and hopes to incorporate that into a future show. 

On planning each show, Dussere comments, “Sometimes I’ll be inspired by one particular character or a particular emotion or vibe, and it’s also really influenced by what I listen to, which is a lot of folk and indie and a lot of ’60s and ’70s music.” 

To branch out and include new music, Dussere hopes to invite co-hosts on the show, from students at Vassar to friends back home. “I’m having fun and trying to make it social even though I think that my experience with the booth so far has been that it feels like a very private space in a very calming way,” she adds. 

At The Moment (ATM): Grace Skakel ’24 and Lauren Showalter ’24

Listen on Thursdays at 2 a.m.

With their show “ATM,” Grace Skakel ’24 and Lauren Showalter ’24 curate music around a specific moment in time. Showalter explains that the show idea came from their shared love for making playlists about specific situations. Showalter informed me that their sets have  gotten pretty abstract, citing the time their theme was “when you find the perfect pair of pants.” Skakel says that they often try to pick a shared moment to explore, remarking, “We were surprised by how many memories we have together.”

To plan each show, Skakel and Showalter make a shared playlist that they add songs to throughout the week. Skakel explains, “Each of us chooses about half of the songs that are played in the hour, and then when we’re sitting down together we hear them for the first time.” Skakel says that this approach helps expose them to new sounds, saying, “I think we’ve each been listening to a lot more music because we’re trying to find smaller independent artists and branching out.”

 

Despite their late time slot, the duo have still enjoyed their experiences recording their show: “Because [the studio] is so comfy and we’re listening to music, it makes it really enjoyable and worth staying up for.” Showalter adds that in addition to having two sets of hands to operate the faders, “It’s nice to bounce off of each other’s energy.” 

Skakel says they also get to chat between songs, and sometimes her parents listen along from the West Coast and send videos of themselves dancing along to the songs. Ultimately, Skakel says, “I hope [listeners] get some giggles.” 

 

Listen to WVKR live here: https://player.listenlive.co/65631  



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