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24 hours of music and debauchery at WHRW

The annual Paul J. Battaglia marathon brings station members together for a full day

WHRW 90.5 FM hosted its annual 24-hour marathon in memory of Paul J. Battaglia, a former general manager who lost his life in the Sept. 11 attack. Student DJs and staff came together and celebrated free-format radio in his honor by staying up all night and playing whatever the heck they wanted on the radio, from electronic dance music to whale noises and everything in between.

The fun started at 1 p.m. Friday with a memorial to Battaglia, followed by non-ironic on-air games like “Name that Subgenre” and “Name the B-Side.” At 11 p.m., the Mad Trivia Party hosted a celebrity guest, Binghamton Mayor Rich David. WHRW members camped out in the station lobby and the adjacent meeting room, munching on pizza and gulping down coffee in anticipation of a much-awaited event: the roast of General Manager Dan Spaventa.

“This is an awesome way to bring members of the radio station together,” said Isabella Castiglioni, a freshman majoring in anthropology. “There are so many DJs this semester that it’s hard to get to know some of them just because you don’t see them all the time.”

The WHRW management staff took turns playfully grilling each other on air, poking fun at Radio Theatre Director Charles Berman’s bad breath and Spaventa’s poor hygiene and weird thrift shop fetish. Despite the flurry of insults, Spaventa was wistful about the thought of leaving Binghamton University and his beloved, albeit slightly grimy, radio station.

“Guys, I don’t wanna leave college,” said Spaventa, a senior double-majoring in cinema and English.

Around 3 a.m., the atmosphere in the station had turned from one of fun and excitement to giddy, late-night delirium brought on by gallons of Dunkin’ Donuts boxed coffee and soda. Student station members began to take out their energy by racing around the New University Union basement in the large blue mail bins, nearly careening into the Pipe Dream newsstands and sending each other flying into the concrete walls.

“I don’t even know what’s going on anymore,” said Quinton Banks, a University research technician, as he watched a cart filled with over-caffeinated students whiz past.

“This is why I love college,” said Marisa Monte, the public relations coordinator of WHRW.

The station members really began losing sanity around 5 a.m., when News Director Ray Futia and Spaventa began DJ-ing a peculiar mix of whale noises and EDM over the airwaves. The marathon continued until 1 p.m. Saturday, concluding with a remembrance of Battaglia and his contribution to the thriving, weird entity that is WHRW.