College Radio Day is one of WMSC’s biggest events of the year. From 30-hour broadcasts to golf cart karaoke, there is an undeniable air of excitement that surrounds the day. College Radio Day is a worldwide event that organizes hundreds of college stations to celebrate the work of students in radio.
As a longtime College Radio Day volunteer, Anabella Poland has played a large part in gathering content and brainstorming a theme for the annual event. After joining the WMSC team in 2015, she was promoted to Second Vice President of College Radio Day in 2017, and she will now serve as President of the organization for the next two years.
As President, Poland will continue to create original content to distribute to stations around the country, promote the event, and recruit A-list ambassadors for the event’s 10th anniversary celebration. Her new role has expanded these tasks to oversee and organize the team and USA stations.
“I’m in charge of making sure that everything gets done on time and we have a good ambassador,” Poland said. “And that we raise some good money!”
Last year, Poland tapped indie rock superstars The Black Keys as the ambassadors for the 2019 World College Radio Day after recognizing their rising popularity amongst college students.
“I noticed The Black Keys were on the number one position on the college charts for five weeks,” Poland said. “It was the most of any other artist. So I asked, and they gave us an interview and then became the ambassador.”
In addition to The Black Keys, students at WMSC have also had the opportunity to interview rock legends Joan Jett and Kenny Laguna. Interviews like these are conducted by MSU students and put on SoundCloud so that they can be distributed to over 515 stations in 33 countries. “The interviews my students do actually get the name of the university and our radio station out there,” Poland said.
Participation in College Radio Day has opened up countless opportunities for MSU students, including networking opportunities and trips both domestically and internationally. “We usually do a trip during the year to collect audio,” Poland said. “Last year we traveled to England for the Alternatives 2019 conference at University of Cambridge, and the organization got a letter from the Queen of England welcoming us. The year before that, we went to meet Ajit Pai, the Chairman of the FCC and we got a letter from him. And before this administration, I sent my Station Manager to the White House when Obama was there. And they got a letter from Obama and they met his senior advisors. They were in the press room where you see all the pressers happening. I think that part of what we do is just represent all of radio and try to sort of trump what the medium does.”
Aside from creating quality content for stations around the world, the College Radio Foundation also raises money to give grants to stations in need. “I’m hoping that this year being the 10th annual World College Radio Day, we’ll be able to fundraise a nice amount so that we can benefit more stations,” Poland said.
College Radio Day gives students the unique opportunity to create professional content to be heard by an international audience, but it also allows them to network and learn from stations around the world.
“I call ourselves the United Stations of Radio,” Poland laughed, making a connection to the United Nations. “We get on messenger and there’s a million little boxes of people talking [from around the world].”