The Online Beacon

The Student News Site of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The Student News Site of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The Online Beacon

The Online Beacon

The Online Beacon

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Student Spotlight: Tonimarie Basil ‘26

Nurturing a Vibrant Radio Community at MCLA

Meet Tonimarie Basil, affectionately known as Toni, a second-semester sophomore at MCLA majoring in communications with a minor in creative writing. Beyond her academic pursuits, Toni plays a pivotal role at WJJW, MCLA’s student and community-run radio station, contributing significantly to its unique blend of programming.

Basil’s journey with WJJW began when she enrolled in the radio practicum course, a requirement for her communications major. Initially skeptical, she quickly fell in love with the station’s vibrant atmosphere. Currently serving as the Vice President, Basil wears many hats, managing everything from scheduling meetings and taking notes to training new DJs and keeping logs up to date.

“The radio practicum course is technically a Comm requirement, and I didn’t think I’d like it, but then I fell in love with our fun little station. I’m technically VP but I do everything—schedule meetings, take notes, train new DJs, do the scheduling, clean the station, etc.,” Basil shares, highlighting her diverse responsibilities.

The content of Basil’s show reflects her eclectic taste, featuring a mix of pop and country music. However, her discussions extend beyond music, delving into celebrity drama/scandals and current events at MCLA. The station maintains a policy of inclusivity, allowing diverse music tastes while ensuring a respectful environment free of explicit language or slurs.

“I usually air a mix of pop and country music, and I tend to talk about a lot of celebrity drama/scandals and what’s going on at MCLA at any given time,” she explains, offering insight into the engaging content of her show.

Basil passionately advocates for the importance of radio as an art form. “People should listen to the radio because it’s an art form. These people are going on air and speaking directly to the public. Usually, it’s not a prerecorded segment, but sometimes it can be. Radio is an important part of history and ultimately is just fun. I think a lot of people would enjoy it,” she asserts, emphasizing the unique and dynamic nature of radio broadcasts.

Discussing the station’s uniqueness, Basil explains, “MCLA’s station mingles students and community members, allowing us to interact with people from all walks of life. We also have a class that goes along with it that you can take for credit, which is incredible that we are one of the schools that still has it.”

Looking to the future, Basil envisions the station flourishing with passionate individuals occupying every slot. “My vision in the future for the station would be to have it flourish, to have all the slots filled up with people who love to do what I’m doing right now. For myself, I just want to have fun. I’d love to be able to teach other people how to get started on radio, but I’m split 50/50 on whether a radio career or a broadcasting one is in my future. I equally love both, so we’ll have to wait and see,” she shares, expressing her excitement about the potential for growth.

Reflecting on her journey, Basil acknowledges MCLA’s unintentional role in helping her find her passion. “MCLA has helped me find my passion because I probably wouldn’t have taken the course as soon as I did if it wasn’t a need. I still thank them nonetheless because I really do love what I do.”

For those intrigued by the world of WJJW, the station’s site,, provides a gateway to its diverse programming. Interested individuals can reach out to Basil at [email protected] for inquiries about open slots. She is more than willing to guide and train newcomers, making her an integral part of MCLA’s vibrant broadcasting landscape!

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Karen Yamada, Staff Writer

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