The Student Services Finance Committee heard a budget proposal Thursday night from the University of Wisconsin student-led radio station, WSUM. 

Several WSUM members and staff spoke during the open forum before the budget proposal presentation — speakers talked about how the station grew its broadcast schedule during the pandemic. WSUM sports director Wade Flavion spoke about how working with WSUM has prepared staff for future careers.

“It’s really been special to see what our hosts, broadcasters and DJs have been able to do,” Flavion said. “Speaking about me personally, the station has given me so much — it’s taken a political science major and really taught me the business of how to be a sports journalist.” 

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Two-year member Daniel Zaydman said in a personal statement that WSUM has an essential presence on campus because it provides a valuable space for students of all academic and personal backgrounds.

General Manager Dave Black presented the station’s budget proposal to the committee. Black said WSUM seeks a 3.78% decrease in their budget because of economic difficulties the pandemic has created for students.

Rep. Jordan Pasbrig said thanked WSUM for being cognizant of the financial struggles caused by the pandemic when creating their budget proposal.

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Station Manager Sean Horvath said the station saw an increase in students who are interested in recording their shows from home.

“That’s really opened up WSUM to people who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to come into the studio or who chose not to during the pandemic,” Horvath said. “A lot of people have actually really voiced their appreciation that we trained people now specifically to pre-record their shows.”

Horvath said before the pandemic, new DJs would complete a semester of training at the station, and their first day live on air would be trial by fire and intimidating. 

SSFC Chair Tessa Reilly said the committee will discuss recommendations for the WSUM budget at the Feb. 1 meeting.