One of the highly advertised features of the new Marketplace is that Sodexo is open to suggestions and changes from students. We have one, and it’s pretty simple: The Marketplace should broadcast our campus radio station, WHRW 90.5 FM Binghamton.
WHRW, located right below the Marketplace in a little place called the New University Union basement, brings free-format radio to our students 24/7. Their programming features an eclectic, to put it mildly, array of genres, from pop to indie to space to jazz. But most importantly, it’s entirely run by students.
The Marketplace is not only a place for students to congregate, but a place to celebrate student activity and actively engage in it. Sure, we’re biased toward campus media. But if you’ve ever listened to 90.5 FM in the car or online, you would know that we have a quality radio station of which we should be proud. There isn’t a hub on campus for people to hear student-curated radio unless you’re on your laptop, in the car or walking by the station. By broadcasting the station in this way, this collection of music aficionados could soundtrack our 10 minutes alone with our full naan sandwiches.
And then there’s the issue of what the Marketplace is currently playing. It’s called Rockbot, advertised as “The Social Jukebox App.” Here’s how it works: The TVs in the Union broadcast what song is currently playing and what songs are being voted up and down on mobile devices. If enough people vote for a song, it moves up in cue and eventually plays over the speakers. The genre selection is limited to ’80s, ’90s, one hit wonders and Top 40’s. Here’s what that means for you: ageless orchestral classics such as “Timber” and “Talk Dirty To Me” will air twice each before you even get to the front of the line at Mein Bowl.
While we like that students in the Marketplace get to choose the songs, we’d much rather give that responsibility to the DJs downstairs who spend their time endlessly pursuing good music. And if you are stuck on the idea of democracy and still want a say in your lunch playlist, you can always call in or walk down the flight of stairs to the station to request something.
We’re students supporting students. We practically live down the hall from these guys, and we know the kinds of hours they put in. It’s only fair that their work gets the attention it deserves. As long as they promise to play “Timber” once a day.