WOZQ Comes Into Its Own

Photo by Michelle S. Lee '16

Photo by Michelle S. Lee ’16

Mia Council ’16
Features Editor

The Comstock House party, which took place on Saturday, Oct. 5, was the first Quad party of the year, the first Smith party for many first-years and the first party officially DJ’ed by new party DJ Laila Phillips ’15, who just graduated from the training process undergone by WOZQ party DJs.  This involves nearly a year of training, tests and apprenticeship at numerous official Smith parties.  Hannah Erb ’14, the new WOZQ station manager, attended the Comstock party to support DJ Phillips and was interviewed the following day.

“People always catch me when I’m really busy and stressed out about it.  But I really do love it,” Erb said of her position as station manager, which she acquired for the year when Rachel McDonald, the former manager, decided to take a semester off.  “We make a really cool product.  The end result of all the work I do is the radio station existing.”  The station board votes secretly to choose a manager, who must have been on the board for at least a semester.  In recent years, most station managers have gotten WOZQ tattoos.

WOZQ began online streaming last year. “It took a lot of time to get that to happen,” Erb said, because of college bureaucracy.  “It costs money, so … I don’t know if they saw it as an unnecessary thing, or an additional thing.”  Erb, a self-described “spindly” greenish-eyed brunette who is six foot one and a double major in art history and government, is proud of the fact that WOZQ has both online streaming and a terrestrial radio station, since many college radio stations have shifted to exclusively online.  According to her, some downtown galleries play WOZQ during the day.

“It just sort of became a thing that I did a lot with my time, listening to music and finding new music,” said Erb, who is not above playing the occasional Ke$ha while DJing a party.  “Sometimes to play the things that you want to play, you have to play a couple Top 40 songs around it, so people don’t realize what’s going on. Smith has a problem where people will stop dancing if it’s not Top 40.  But I don’t play anything I wouldn’t want to dance to.”

“[I listen to] a lot of whiny lady music in my free time.  Outside of my cool party music that I like to play Alanis Morissette and the Cranberries.  You know,” and recommends Brooke Candy and the Weeknd remix of Lorde’s, “Royals.”

WOZQ is entirely run by women.  “I think that’s so important,” said Erb, who would “love to work for NPR” but doesn’t think she has the technical skills to work professionally in radio.  “There aren’t a lot of female DJs, especially our age.” Erb reads the Sophian each week, because “Smith communications need to stick together.”  Her own radio show, which is exclusively remixes, airs live Tuesday nights from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m.

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