Nowadays, whenever you hear ‘MTV’ you probably think of “Jersey Shore,” “Teen Mom” or “Catfish,” but it seems the network hasn’t quite given up their music roots. WVCW, VCU’s student-run radio station, will appear on MTV’s college music channel, mtvU, this week.
WVCW has strived to gain more recognition on campus. Over the past few years, the station has put efforts toward applying for a low-power AM frequency with the Federal Communications Commission, reclaiming their air time in VCU buildings such as the Shafer Dining Court and focusing on social media promotions and outreach.
Over the summer, Joel Austin, the general manager for the station, reached out to mtvU to inquire about nominations and involvement in their awards and programs.
“I wanted to see how (WVCW) could get nominated for Best University Radio Station,” Austin said.
At the beginning of September, Austin received an email invitation for WVCW to be featured on the channel’s College Radio Countdown show. The show features a different college radio station every week in the form of a short video and a list of 10 songs chosen by the station’s staff to represent their university’s musical vibe.
This is Austin’s fourth year working for the station. In his time at WVCW, he’s done everything from disc jockeying to production management.
“It’s the best job I’ve ever had. It’s so rewarding,” he said.
Heather Hudgins, the outreach and advocacy coordinator for WVCW, has worked with the station for three semesters. She manages their Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter accounts. Being featured on mtvU is the kind of exposure WVCW has set out to gain this year, she said.
Austin and Hudgins both said choosing 10 songs to represent VCU was the most difficult part of the process.
“VCU has a large and diverse audience,” Austin said. “We couldn’t choose from YouTube or Vevo … the song had to be from (mtvU’s) library.”
Incorporating bands native to Richmond was a priority, as was gathering suggestions from everyone involved with the station.
The station decided to select “DoYaThing” by Gorillaz, Andre 3000 and James Murphy for the top spot. GWAR’s “Zombies, March!”, Childish Gambino’s “Bonfire,” King Tuff’s “Bad Thing” and AWOLNATION’s “Kill Your Heroes” are also featured on the top-10 list.
Creating the promotional video for mtvU’s website was the responsibility of the station’s employees. Over the course of the last month, the station’s team worked on narrowing down footage to less than two minutes.
“We have so much footage we could have used,” Austin said. “We are really lucky … our production team did an amazing job.”
Matt Ruland, a DJ and a VCU police officer, plays music under the name “DJ Five-Oh.” Ruland has a short appearance in the video.
“You won’t see a (police officer) rocking out in any of the other college videos,” Austin said.
He hopes the mtvU feature will lead to an increase of recognition from the VCU community.
WVCW will air on mtvU on Tuesday, Nov. 5 on mtvu.com.