WRMU Hosts Spanish Hour
February 15, 2006
WRMU, the Mount Union College student-run radio station hosts Spanish Hour, "Viva Mount Union" on Thursdays from 8-9 p.m. starting February 16.
For the first time in Mount Union College history, there is going to be an hour long show done completely in Spanish. This unique opportunity to bring the international program back to life at WRMU will be hosted by Antonietta Gonzalez-Collins, Ivette Gonzalez, Gabriela Vargas, Axel Sandoval, and Irantzu Txakartegi-Ibarloza every Thursday from 8-9 p.m.
The WRMU Spanish hour entitled "Viva Mount Union" is going to include a variety of things. "We're going to talk about news, music, the difference between Mexico and the United States, anything you find interesting," said Gabriela Vargas, a junior communication major at UDLA (Universidad de las Americas) in Mexico.
"We'll talk about a variety of news from different Spanish speaking countries," said Antonietta Collins, a senior communication studies major and sport management minor. "We would also like to invite other international students to come and talk on our show."
To gain a sense of Spanish culture, the show will also include a recipe of the day. The hosts would also like to give away prizes from Don Ponchos of Alliance as part of the show.
Since this is a new experience for all involved, the actual format of the show will come to life after a few trial runs. They would like to have them aired every week. Themes might include things such as Mexican or Spanish holidays.
Spanish music will also be played during the "Viva Mount Union" Spanish hour. "We want to play all kinds of music," said Vargas.
"We have planned to have news, interesting facts about other countries, jokes, people invited, and recommendations for travel," said Gonzalez, a communication major at UDLA.
The original idea for the show came from Scott Slabaugh, director of international admission. He used to be director of international student affairs and when Mark Bergmann, manager of WRMU, started to work at the radio station, Slabaugh wanted to work at the station on a volunteer basis.
To keep the station on air as much as possible, Slabaugh thought it would be a good idea to have international students help out. "Two Japanese students agreed to do an international music show and invited different international students each week to share their favorite music and talk about their culture. That show became very popular with students and continued for several years," said Slabaugh. While the music was international, the speaking on the show was done in English.
After moving to Japan in 1998 and returning in 2005, Slabaugh came back to Mount Union College to find the international show had died. Since then he has tried to revive the show but couldn't find students who had the time to do it.
"This Spring when Ivette and Gaby came from Mexico, they enrolled in the broadcast class and I joked with Mark (Bergmann) that maybe they could do the international music show all in Spanish," Slabaugh said. "Mark mentioned Toni Gonzalez-Collins as someone who worked at the radio show and knew how to run the equipment, but never did a show, just played music and read the news.
"But, if you have met Toni you know that she has a real exciting personality and is very positive, and it is obvious that she could host a show which I think will become popular. So, it was a natural fit for the three of them to work together," Slabaugh said.
Toni Collins, Ivette Gonzalez, and Gaby Vargas were originally approached to do the show. They were very excited about it and agreed to put a show together. Axel Sandoval, a student from Honduras and Irantzu Txakartegi-Ibarloza, a Spanish teaching assistant from the Basque country in Spain were then asked to be a part of the show.
Gonzalez and Vargas are both juniors at UDLA (Universidad de las Americas) in Mexico who met their freshman year. They both had an interest in coming to the United States, and are here for one semester.
"I came here to see different ways of understanding life and the world from people in the U.S. and other countries," said Gonzalez. "We decided to come together because we thought it would be easier that way," said Vargas.
Collins was born in San Diego, CA. When she was five months old she moved to Mexico City until she was eight years old. Her mother is the host of a morning show on Telmundo, which is the sister network of NBC. The morning show is equivalent to the Today Show in Spanish.
Collin's mother's job caused her to move with her mom and sister to San Antonio TX, where she learned to speak English. Since her mother was always working, she became close with her older sister.
After one year in Texas she moved to Miami, FL. Her sister, being bilingual, got a job at GE in North Canton. To be close to her sister, Collins looked around at schools in the area. When she came to Mount Union College she said, "I just loved it."
Collins hopes to one day work as a sports or entertainment reporter, possibly even report from the red carpet. She currently has an internship in Youngstown with the Steelhounds Central Hockey team. With her internship she gets to interview the coach and players, and do the pre-game show.
When asked about the radio show Collins said, "I hope it will be a fun time and people will enjoy it. I hope it reaches out to Spanish and other international students."
"Viva Mount Union" will officially begin February 16 at 8 p.m. and go until 9 p.m. Anyone that speaks Spanish, native or learning, is welcome to be a part of the show in some way.