The University of the Virgin Islands has its own radio station, WUVI 1090 AM “The Voice of the University.” WUVI is a student-run, managed and operated radio station that is part of UVI’s Communication Department. Broadcasting from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week, WUVI transmits at 250 watts, reaching the United States and British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and as far south as Dominica. The station broadcasts original student-produced content, Caribbean music, talk shows, news, and information relevant to the UVI community, the Territory and the region.
The radio station will be used as part of the curriculum for courses in UVI’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. Students will learn all aspects of broadcast journalism, radio production and station management.
“This is a symbolic day of divine intervention,” UVI President Dr. David Hall said at WUVI’s launch and ribbon cutting ceremony on Jan. 24. In 2011, Dr. Hall met with UVI students in a radio production class, who expressed interest in having a radio station. Coincidentally not long after, WGOD offered to lease an available frequency to UVI. There was still an issue of where on the St. Thomas campus to house the station, when a space became available.
At the launch,
WGOD’s owner Ronald Charles said that he offered UVI the lease after looking at the crime and violence affecting the community, especially young men. WUVI, he said, will bring education to the whole community. Charles hopes that meaningful and educational programing will help to uplift the community and bring positive change.
“I am hoping that every one of us will search our self now and try to help the University to bring the kind of programs that will be beneficial to all of us,” Charles said. “We hope when it is all over we will have a better Virgin Islands.”
Dr. Hall has similar hopes.
“We believe that if the community is more educated and more enlightened then we can address many of the problems,” Dr. Hall said. “UVI can be a vehicle for making this community better. That to me is the divine goal that flows through all of this.”
UVI Department of Music, Communication, Art and Theatre Chairperson Dr. Alexander Randall has oversight of the radio station and was instrumental in making WUVI a reality.
Student-produced shows on WUVI include the “Rise and Shine Morning Show” with Leslyn Tonge, “Ritter’s Rhetoric” with Linda Ritter, and “The Three D Man” with Joshua Edwards. Dr. Hall can be heard on Sunday afternoon on his show, “Spiritual Insights.” WUVI is a Pacifica Network affiliate, which broadcast national shows such as “Democracy Now.”
“(WUVI) is not here just to provide music,” said Dr. Randall, who has up until the launch of WUVI had been teaching radio communication in a class setting. “We are here to be a vehicle for the University of the Virgin Islands to reach out to this island and neighboring islands and our whole region. We are here to be the voice of the University and to bring knowledge to our neighbors.”
He commended his communication students for all that they have done to create WUVI, its content and for consistently showing up even as early as 6 a.m. to be on the air.
Dr. Randall unveiled two plaques at the station’s launch. The first displays a mission statement that vows that the station will only provide quality information and the other salutes those that created WUVI. “WUVI - we built it,” said Dr. Randall as he read the plaque. “Out of thin air, to on the air.”