DJ's Rocking Out Across Campus

At the station and ready to start the music. (Kenny Kelly)

By Dan Hein
The DJs of WXPL, Fitchburg State’s radio station, are broadcasting a full schedule of music and conversation for the fall semester.
WXPL has had a long history with the campus, having celebrated its 30th anniversary just last year. But the station has had a rough time getting to the level of professionalism it has today.
Only in the past few years did the members of the station start to turn it around for the better, according to Juan Orta, current president of the club.
“The board was a joke and no one cared about the club,” says Orta. “Once I got into the board I wanted to make sure that WXPL would get better. And ever since, we got streaming, a bigger audience, apps, and more.”
Orta is a senior in the graphic design program, and has been involved with WXPL ever since he was a freshman. He, alongside the other board members, has worked hard to bring the station to where it is now. Thanks to his efforts, WXPL has slowly been gaining more momentum as a powerhouse club at Fitchburg State.
Since the start of the semester, a bunch of new DJs have joined the station so that they can start broadcasting their own radio shows. One of those DJs is Luke Cardwell, a freshman in film/video. His initial impressions of the station are positive.
“I love WXPL,” he says. “The people, the place, the equipment. All amazing, all beautiful. I want to be more of a part of it as my college career continues down the road. “
Cardwell currently has two talk shows on WXPL, and is also a member of Fitchburg State’s Improv Club. He joined the station because of his passion for radio and audio-visual. He was involved previously with Leominster Access Television, and was interested in joining a college radio station before he came to Fitchburg. He also says that part of the reason he joined the club was because “I’ve always been told that I have a voice for radio.”
Orta believes there are many reasons why somebody joins the station. “Some might really want to be in the radio station, others want to join to make friends. WXPL is made for whatever you want it to be,” he says.
The new semester has not only brought new DJs to WXPL, but also the DJs returning to the station, who were excited to get back into the studio for another year of broadcasting.
“I think very highly of WXPL,” says Jack Colaianni, a sophomore majoring in professional communications. “It’s where I have made some of my closest friends on campus. I enjoy every minute of it. Between board meetings, station meetings, my own weekly show, and listening to all the other great shows, it’s hard not to have a good time.”
Colaianni joined WXPL during the fall 2014 semester, and is returning for his second year. He was inducted as the program director of WXPL in the spring, which makes him in charge of listening to all the shows that the DJs put on. He also has his own show, called “JP and the Tribe,” which airs every Wednesday at 6 p.m. “We cover a wide range of topics,” Colaianni says, “from pop-culture to politics, to music. We strive to find entertaining conversation first and foremost.”
Colaianni also believes that a reason students join WXPL is because it allows them to express themselves. “Within the forum that’s been created at WXPL, we can actively participate and contribute to a medium that is completely made up of original ideas and concepts. Not only can we showcase artists with whom we relate, but we can include our own words and convey things through our own voices. It’s amazing.”
Orta is hopeful that the station will continue to gain more popularity as time goes on. “With the way we are growing we can easily be one of the bigger clubs on campus,” he says.
WXPL broadcasts live from Fitchburg State University on 91.3 FM, and DJs put on shows in hour-long blocks every day, including weekends. The station broadcasts within the local area of Fitchburg and surrounding towns, and it also streams online at