WESN 88.1 FM is a 100 watt student-run, college radio station that was established
at Illinois Wesleyan University in 1972 and has been active on campus for the past
50 years. The station was primarily managed by students during the 70’s, 80’s and
90’s when college radio was one of the primary, if not only, outlets for alternative
and “non-pop” music. With the advent of music streaming services, the way in which
college students shared and accessed music changed dramatically, leading to decreased
participation at WESN.
In 2020, a process was initiated to “reboot” WESN, which included physical changes
to the studio space located in Kemp Hall as well as the creation of a new management
structure designed to provide consistent leadership and support during both the academic
year and summer months. Even with the most recent changes, the mission of the station
has remained the same since its founding in the early 1970’s: provide a creative outlet
for the IWU community to participate in live radio broadcasting and present the Bloomington/Normal
community with broadcasting content not found through other radio outlets.