Senior Alex Fitzpatrick dedicates himself to the WGSU airwaves
Published: Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 23:07
Senior Alex Fitzpatrick is what some might call a juggler. He manages to balance an impressive course load with an internship at Rochester's City Hall and the responsibility of running the college radio station.
Fitzpatrick is the station manager of 89.3 WGSU, Geneseo's student-operated radio station, but he doesn't orchestrate the 24-hour programming all by himself. Fitzpatrick said that the work he does with other WGSU e-board members resembles that associated with full-time jobs.
Fitzpatrick said he sometimes struggles to balance his fun-loving, music-appreciating, carefree side with his formal role of station manager. "I've got to be strict with some things – like attendance – but I'm lax about some other things. I want to make sure the station runs smoothly, but I also want [disc jockey]s to have fun while they're playing music," Fitzpatrick said.
Though this is just one challenge he faces, Fitzpatrick said he prefers to emphasize the good that has come out of his experiences. He said that trying to establish a common theme for the station can be difficult, but that the process shows how unique, eclectic and ultimately distinctive WGSU's DJs and hosts are.
"Watching new DJs go from suffering complete freeze-ups and mic fights to becoming comfortable, smooth broadcasters within a semester or two," is, he said, by far the most rewarding part of the job.
Fitzpatrick's foray into broadcasting began through a combination of luck and hard work. His high school was part of a well-developed radio and broadcasting program that gave him his first chance to DJ and read the news in his junior year. As his interest in the field grew, Fitzpatrick completed an internship at a locally popular radio station, 97.5 WALK.
When Fitzpatrick came to Geneseo he brought his talent, general know-how about broadcasting and an interest in music that spans across nearly all genres. He got started with popular names like Eric Clapton, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, but has grown to enjoy jazz, metal and most recently hip-hop.
WGSU's programming is not limited to music. "We're mostly an indie/college rock station, but we've also got a very active sports department. We've got a news department, which puts on short 5-minute news broadcasts and even talk segments," Fitzpatrick said. "We even had a talk show last year that focused in on feminist issues."
Fitzpatrick has hosted a heap of shows hi mself, but don't get duped into thinking he is simply a one trick pony; Fitzpatrick has been successful both on and off the airwaves. He currently works as an intern at the Communications Bureau at Rochester City Hall. Thus far he has worked on event briefings for the mayor, written press releases and developed web content and Photoshop projects.
In preparation for graduation from college, Fitzpatrick has applied for positions in the field of political communication at non-profit, non-governmental organizations and with the offices of politicians whom he supports.
Fitzpatrick's deceptively workaholic biography hides an easygoing, down-to-earth persona. While he is planning for the long term, he isn't ready to jump into the workforce just yet. "I think I'm going to take a few weeks off to decompress and have an adventure, maybe fly out to the west coast and drive down the Pacific Coast Highway," he said.
Radio might not be in the future for Fitzpatrick, but its impact will certainly stay with him. "I've grown in every way imaginable here … and while it's time to move on, I don't take for granted what my experiences have done for me," he said.