The Associated Students of Madison’s Outreach Director Yogev Ben-Yitschak and Shared Governance Chair Deena Whitwam co-hosted the group’s new WSUM radio show, “The State of the University,” which made airwaves across campus Friday.
When Ben-Yitschak jokingly suggested the idea of having a radio show, Whitwam said she capitalized on it because it seemed like a fun way to combine the co-hosts’ areas of outreach and shared governance, in order to inform the campus community about student government.
“I feel like there’s a lot of misinformation about what ASM even does,” Whitwam said. “What is our student government doing? Who are they? Why are they there? It’s really just so we can say, ‘Hey! This is the campaign we’re working on, this is the project we want to get done.’”
“The State of the University” isn’t ASM’s first time on the radio—back in 2004, students hosted “Student Power Hour,” which also gave the campus community insight into ASM’s current affairs. Whitwam said they wanted to keep “Student Power Hour,” but ultimately had to change the name because it alluded to a drink special.
For Ben-Yitschak, the several-year gap between the two shows is exciting.
“I think the show is important because it’s a new way to reach out to students. In 10 years, ASM has not tried this show. So it's a really big new thing to try,” Ben-Yitschak said. “I hope the show actually gets listened to, of course, and that it becomes a hub for ASM and campus politics, that we always have stories to talk about and people to interview.”
During the first episode, Ben-Yitschak and Whitwam had Vice Chair Billy Welsh on air as the spotlight feature to discuss the sustainability requirement campaign he championed as the previous chair of ASM’s Sustainability Committee. Whitwam said this was because most committee chairs haven’t started their campaigns yet.
However, “The State of the University” will have grassroot committee chairs on each week to talk about projects and campaigns they are working on. Some of these include current Sustainability Chair Leah Johnson, Legislative Affairs Chair Kat Kerwin and Equity and Inclusion Chair Alex Hader, among others.
Registered student organizations, particularly those who receive grant funding from ASM, will also be on the air to advertise upcoming events that are free to all students on campus and share the mission of their groups.
“The State of the University” will air each Friday at 11 a.m. on WSUM during the fall semester.