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WQAQ grows stronger
It’s mid-afternoon on a weekday, and students are hanging around WQAQ, Quinnipiac’s student-run radio station, carrying on as though they were out on a weekend. Every other room on the second floor of the student center is sullen and serious, but they are constantly laughing, joking around and of course listening to music. One would never think that for most of last year, the group didn’t have a tower to broadcast over.
WQAQ first hit Hamden’s airwaves in 1969, and has since become a second home to its members.
“Freshman year I was averaging about 14 hours a day,” junior media studies major Laura Goodman said. “If my roommates ever needed to talk to me they’d stop by there.”
The station even stayed busy last year, when the school took down its radio tower, citing it wasn’t “aesthetically pleasing.” Had WQAQ been taken off air for a full year, they would have lost their FCC license and their frequency.
“After a long battle to keep and relocate our tower, we currently have a temporary tower in the West Woods parking lot,” General Manager Paula Raimo said. “We’re expecting a permanent one to be constructed within the next two months.”
Though they lacked a frequency to broadcast over, the station retained its spirit, focusing instead on promoting their website, which streams 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They also put on two concerts, the annual Battle of the Bands and WQAQ’s Spring Concert, which last year featured musical acts Brazil, Men Women & Children, and The Recieving End of Sirens.
After the tumultuous time last year, WQAQ has come back stronger than ever and continues to grow. Not only will the Spring Concert and Battle of the Bands be returning, but they are hosting a three-on-three basketball tournament on Nov. 10 in the rec center.
“The station has grown in ways that I never imagined,” Raimo said. “We got a brand new studio the summer after my freshman year which gave us the technology to compete with top radio stations in Connecticut. Also, our involvement has significantly increased and we seem to have a greater response of listeners here on campus.”
This year membership has increased to a staff of over 200, with 155 DJs. Seventeen of the radio shows are being helmed by freshman DJs, one of them being communications major, Fred Hoxsie. His show, Teenage Riot Radio, airs Saturday nights from 10 to 11 p.m., and he could not be happier about his choice to get involved in the station.
“Seriously, what’s not to like about QAQ?” Hoxsie asked. “You have your own radio show, you’re with people who like good music, and you get free CDs.”
Despite the trouble they’ve faced, WQAQ still maintains a positive outlook. As General Manager Raimo gears up for graduation, she looks back at her time with QAQ fondly.
“I’ve been here for four years now,” Raimo said, “And I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.”