WSUP Revamped

New adviser faces new challenges as the radio station becomes a stand alone organization

There is something special about the WSUP radio station located at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. When people walk past it’s location in the basement of the Pioneer Tower, they are bound to see station members sitting together and talking while music plays throughout their speakers. To the station members, it is just another place to call home while they are away at college. However, for their new adviser technologist Tyler Tollefson, it is so much more than that.

Tollefson is an alum of UW-Platteville graduating in 2008. During his time as a student, he worked at WSUP for three years and had a variety of leadership roles including being the station manager. However, it was only recently that he took on the role of being the new adviser for the station. Faced with new challenges of being a stand-alone student organization, meaning that there is no tie to a certain curriculum, and learning the new responsibilities of this leadership role, he is trying to take everything in stride.

“I know how the station did work, I don’t know how it is working now. My immediate plan is to learn how things are getting done now,” Tollefson said. “Shifting back from day-to-day to the big picture will be a challenge for me. As a station manager and a staffer, there is a way that I like to do things and understanding that the station manager now and on air talent might not do things the same way is okay, but definitely a challenge.” He is hoping that he is able to provide more stability to the station. Even though he is an employee of UW-Platteville, his role at the station is completely voluntary stating that it is a “labor of love.” One of his goals as the adviser is to make sure that people are having as much fun working there as he did.

Being an alum of WSUP has its advantages, though. Tollefson is able to understand what goes on behind the scenes of a typical radio program and help build the staff to achieve a greater product. The executive staff still has the decision on what music and ads the station play throughout the day. He believes that the station can be as great as the student workers want it to be.

“He’s definitely the right person to help us get back on our feet. He was here, he was the station manager here. He did a lot of things. He has a lot of experience,” sophomore business major and promotions director of WSUP Michaela Marceau-Zielinski said. “He really understands what needs to be done and he really pushes us. He’ll get us blooming.” Marceau-Zielinski feels like she is able to connect with Tollefson more because of his prior experience at the station.

WSUP has managed to connect people to each other for years. Tollefson met his wife while working there and other members have been able to form lifelong friendships. This makes it a special place for a lot of people that have worked there. Some station members have thought of it as there “go to” place because of it’s accepting atmosphere.

“It’s really a place that I feel like I can be myself here. I can be productive or I can choose to relax. I can come here and know that there’s something for me to do here. I have a purpose here,” Marceau-Zielinksi said. Sophomore mechanical engineering major Jacob Klang thinks of the station as a perfect utopia because there is nothing like it.

Tollefson recognizes bonds of friendship that are formed throughout the station because he has once experienced it. He wants to continue to make the station a safe space and a place where regardless of what someone is majoring in, they feel like they have a place there.

“It’s so much more than music coming out of speakers. When people connect with music it’s about the emotion you feel and WSUP is so much more than someone standing behind a microphone,” Tollefson said.

“It’s a group of people getting together and putting a show on everyday for an audience. It’s an outlet for students on this campus to have their voices be heard.”