Jams and Bops in the UU

WGRN team in the upper union. Source: Ivy Lyons.

You’ve probably noticed several changes on campus over the course of this year. New signs, new faces, new teachers, and Fresh Ideas in the kitchen – yes, I did make the joke. There are TVs tucked into various corners and hanging on walls across campus, showing slideshows and tips from a variety of clubs. But only one of those campus spaces has a TV playing the school’s only broadcast medium – the lower student union.

WGRN logo. Source: WGRN

Every day, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty-five days a year, the lower union is playing the sounds of 89.5FM WGRNGreenville University Radio.

Back in ye olden days, students would wander into a quiet place with three people standing behind a counter and waist level tables. The only upside was that GU football star and Raider Nick Morrow was standing next to a small lady named Donna. The chairs were pains, the food was [Sodexo…] and the only sound was a toilet flushing and the occasional hand dryer (wash your hands).

Now, things are different.

The food in the union, the tables, and the small lady named Donna – she is no longer here, working for Fresh Ideas – have changed substantially, and so has the atmosphere with partial thanks to the radio station. Now, when you walk into the union, you experience a wave of sound. In the mornings, that could be chapel or Christian contemporary.

Lower Union. Source: Reaghan Lesh.

The Afternoons could be filled with the sounds of today’s hits, curated by GU Alum Alayna Moore, or the station’s Throwback hosted by Ryan Mifflin. The nights are filled with talk shows, rock, country, and hip hop all crafted by students and staff here at GU. All of this thanks to a generous donation from Bradford National Bank in Greenville.

And, most importantly, all that sound is much louder than the toilets and hand dryers.

You can listen to Nobody by Mitski, The Greatest Showman Reimagined, and so many other songs in the lower union while eating a salad prepared by students like Miguel Kronbach or Jedediah Moody. But, the upper union is an entirely different space.

Lonely upper union. Source: Reaghan Lesh

It’s quiet unless you have a speaker, and often missing pieces of games and boards that make the space enjoyable. However, WGRN is seeking to solve that problem as well, thanks to Kenny Hampton.

In the coming months, the IT/AV department will be “working with [the station]” to provide sound to the Upper Union, too. WGRN hopes to “increase student participation in the radio station, its shows, and activities” over the course of the next semesters.

With the addition of Upper Union audio, students will also be able to call into the station or participate on air in games and song selection while DJs are on air. In the meantime, students are invited to participate in events being held over the course of Easter weekend, including a “Day After Easter” event on Monday April 22nd at 5:30 PM on Scott Field!

Here’s a taste of what WGRN sounds like:

Media by Ivy Lyons

Ryan Mifflin is the current Operations Manager of WGRN, cooperating with the institution and WGEL, Bond County’s family owned radio station.

Media by Reaghan Lesh.


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