WESU’s Holiday Pledge Drive entered its second week this past Tuesday, giving listeners the chance to support the non-commercial radio station’s operations. The station has currently raised between $22,000 and $23,000, and hopes to achieve its stated goal of $35,000 before the end of the drive.

The drive was originally scheduled to end this past Monday, but the station decided to extend its main fundraising efforts until Monday, December 10. General requests for donations will continue until the end of the year.

The money collected will fund the station’s daily operations, as well as help offset the costs of a recent equipment failure that resulted in the station going off air for four days. The station also hopes to apply to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to expand their range of broadcasting. Both the application and the equipment needed will cost several thousand dollars. Given the rarity in which the FCC accepts these applications and the demand of WESU listeners in locations with weak station reception, Development Director Sarah Leonard ’09 says it would be worth it if the money can be collected.

“The FCC has opened up, for the first time in fifteen years, the ability to up the power of your station,” Leonard said. “We have a lot of listeners who have requested that we broadcast further.”

Leonard also stressed the wide range of items donated by local businesses available to those who pledge $20 or more. Items include t-shirts provided by local Gorilla Graphics, books from the Wesleyan University Press, and CD’s that range from local artists to a Genesis box set. Leonard said local artists were willing to donate CD’s based upon their relationship with the station.

“We have a lot of local artists, because ’Homegrown Music’ is heavily focused on the local music scene, and Bob [DeRosa], who is the DJ, is very keyed in with the scene and knows who to talk to,” Leonard said.

While the station remains short of its goal, Public Relations Director Jessica Jones ’08 commented that she’s continually surprised at the geographic range of donators WESU’s eclectic programming receives, with donations from University alumni from New Hampshire and California. To Jones, however, this seems a testament to the surprising mixture of listeners the station’s programming receives.

“I have a friend who has a surf rock show, and people who live in Finland listen and blog about his show,” Jones said.

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