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Good morning, freshmen! WQHS, the University's only student-run radio station, is now on the air, and students in the Quadrangle can hear it better than ever, thanks to new transmitting equipment installed beneath the dorm early this month. WQHS Station Manager Stuart Sperling said last night the station installed about $9000 of new equipment in the "electrical nightmare" of the Quad, adding that only unrenovated areas still do not receive excellent reception. Sperling added that the station also plans to broadcast 24 hours a day starting later this semester and began playing commercials when it went on the air Monday. WQHS, which broadcasts at 730 AM, is completely student-run, and plays mostly alternative music. WQHS and UTV are also the only outlets for students to learn hands-on about the entertainment industry on campus. Unfortunately, because of its 17-year-old broadcasting equipment underneath campus dorms, WQHS has become difficult for many students to hear. The station runs on a carrier current system, in which electrical wiring serves as an antenna to provide coverage in buildings equipped with transmitters. Seven dormitories -- the Quad, the High Rises, Hill House, Stouffer Triangle and English House -- contain the necessary equipment, but all or parts of some of them can not receive the station because they are often overpowered by stronger electrical currents. Students living off-campus cannot receive the station. Sperling said rewiring the Quad -- which has had service for all 17 years -- is the first step in bringing WQHS to the entire University. "Our main purpose in being a radio station is that a radio station has to have a signal worth listening to," Sperling said. "The way it was before, you wouldn't want to listen to it." Some upperclassmen in the Quad said yesterday they can hear the station better than in all their years at the University. And some freshmen said they are glad they live in the Quad so they can receive it as well as they do. "I think it's awesome," said Wharton freshman Vivek Tiwary. "One thing I liked is you get to hear music that you wouldn't hear on any other station . . . they play a lot of underground stuff." Tiwary said he thinks students all over campus should be able to hear the station, saying it is "really bad" that WQHS does not come in well in other dorms. "Radio, like any other form of media, is a form of expression," Tiwary said. "If WQHS is the only radio station, students should be able to hear it all over campus." Sperling said he would also like WQHS to be aired in the dining halls and Houston Hall. But Sperling said improving WQHS's reception in all the dorms and hooking it up in other buildings would cost tens of thousand dollars more -- money the station can not afford on its $7200 budget this year. Fifth-year senior Jason Wong, a residential advisor in upper Quad, said he thinks the station should be better funded to allow for more students to join and participate in the programming. He said that besides strengthening its airwaves, it is important to make the station more visible to all students. "A lot of my freshmen probably don't even know that WQHS exists," Wong said. "With more money, they could get more publicity and better programming." So far, WQHS has been successful in drawing the attention of freshmen in the Quad, broadcasting live in the dorm for seven hours on move-in Saturday. According to Sperling, about 70 people signed up to join the station on that day alone. "We wanted to help make it a better move-in experience, and it seemed to make a lot of people more glad to be there," Sperling said.

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