Many students attended Georgia State’s 99th commencement ceremony with their caps decorated in WRAS 88.5 stickers. This was after a Facebook page titled Decorate your Cap to Support WRAS at Commencement was created on May 8.
Supporters also began handing out stickers at the Georgia Dome before the ceremony began. This is one of the many events that has followed as a result to the recent partnership created between Georgia State and Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB).
More than 1,000 stickers were handed out before the ceremony, according to Ana Zimitravich, former general manager of WRAS.
“We wanted to increase awareness among the GSU students and the GSU alumini, because Becker [university president] thinks the students and alumini don’t care about the station and this change would be something that could easily be swept under the rug,” she said. “We wanted to prove to him that our student body does care about this change. I think we proved that today.”
She said the #SaveWRAS movement being present at the commencement ceremony showed the student body does care about the future of the station.
“The student body does care. They are our listening audience. The perceived ratings for the station are wrong. We don’t just have an audience of 60 year-olds that live in the Atlanta community and aren’t GSU alumini. It is a greater mix of people than Becker realizes and a lot of it is composed of students,” Zimitravich said.
Brennan Wesolowski, a graduate who majored in history, said he was handed the WRAS sticker on his way to the commencement ceremony.
“…It looked like an opportunity to support local music, thats kind of what I linked it to,” Wesolowski said.
Wesolowski said he usually listens to Georgia State’s radio station at work and has other friends that attend SCAD who tune in as well.
“That’s really sad that they are taking away them though, because even my friends who go to SCAD listen to it [WRAS]. They are big fans of it and probably listen to it more than I do,” he said. “Almost everyone that I am friends with listens to it [the station].”
Dayvon Kimble, journalism graduate at the commencement said he is a supporter of all journalism fields and also had many friends who worked at WRAS.
He also said it’s sad the new partnership is taking hours away from students, because he believes Album 88 is a great way for people who want to get involved with radio.
“I’ve always wanted to work there, but you know I never really took the time. I just feel like thats the type of establishment, here at Georgia State especially for the journalism students, that is needed here,” Kimble said.
Dan Williams, alum of Georgia State’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies said he believes the station is one of the things that makes the university special.
“In a big university environment its hard to really have things that make a place special and unique, and WRAS really does that,” Williams said.
He also said he believes the student-run station provides a service to community
that cannot be matched by any other radio station or media outlet in Atlanta.
“I am an independent musician in a band called Sweet Auburn String Band. Those that are in the music world have plenty of musician friends. I have friends that the only time they’ve been played on the air is on WRAS,” Williams said. “For so many bands that will be the only time they are ever make the radio. That’s a big deal for somebody. Cutting out that daytime content when most people are able to listen and discover their bands, that’s extremely valuable.