By Alexandra Napoli
WSBU-FM 88.3, The Buzz directors and staffers have stepped out of the station and into the Hickey Dining Hall.
SBU’s student-run radio station has been providing students with music and newscasts since 1948. In the past, The Buzz used the Hickey for simple promotional events like birthday parties or Spring Weekend activities. Later, the department managers asked The Buzz to disc jockey in the Hickey on a more frequent basis. The station now sets up a DJ booth twice a month in the Hickey.
Jess Rehac, station manager, said obtaining permission and setting up arrangements to DJ in the Hickey was simple thanks to the Hickey’s resident dining manager, Orman Clemons.
“[Mr. Clemons] has always been really good at listening to what students want,” Rehac said. “We talked to him and made sure the music wouldn’t interfere with anything. After that, all we had to do was set up.”
The Buzz held their first session of the year on Wednesday Oct. 3 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Jon Garbin, a senior marketing major, said he likes the eclectic tunes that fill the dining hall when The Buzz plays music.
“Usually, the Hickey only has the Top 20,” Garbin said. “I like when The Buzz plays in here because you get a wider variety of music. I’m not the biggest Spice Girls fan, but you get to hear different songs that people really want to listen to.”
Although The Buzz plans to DJ twice a month on Fridays during lunch hours, they decided to do a Wednesday show to promote their 24-hour DJ Lock-In – a charity event to raise money for March for Babies. The DJs will be locked in the station in the Reilly Center from noon on Thursday, Oct. 4, to noon on Friday, Oct. 5 to collect donations. Rehac said The Buzz is very excited about the event because they’ve wanted to do something like this for a while.
Feedback from students in the Hickey has been more than positive, according to Meaghan O’Rourke, promotions director.
“I’m constantly asked when the Buzz will be disc jockeying in the Hickey next,” O’Rourke said. “I definitely think disc jockeying in the Hickey helps people be more receptive to us because we leave our typical indie/rock/alternative format.”
Nicole Gagen, a sophomore journalism and mass communication major, said the music was a nice change from her normal lunchtime routine, and it helped make lunch more interesting.
Listeners not only love the atmosphere of the Hickey when the Buzz comes to the dining hall, but the DJs have a great time as well, Rehac said.
“It’s a lot of fun for us too,” she said. “We always enjoy going out and DJing in front of people. When you’re on air, you don’t get a lot of feedback.”
Rehac said the DJs from The Buzz are excited to start another year of memories in the Hickey Dining Hall. Getting the entire crowd to sing along to “Build Me Up Buttercup” was just the beginning.