Written by @amelia.moseman for Tech News August 2023
“Since the dissipation of power is proportional to the square of the current, it may be considered
to be caused by an equivalent or effective resistance which is called the radiation resistance of
an antenna. Thus the radiation resistance of an antenna is that resistance which is inserted in
the antinode of current in the antenna would dissipate the same power as that radiated by the
This quote, written by H.D. Stevens, details the construction of a radio station, taken from his
thesis entitled “The Design and Construction of a Radio Station for Armour Institute of
Technology” written in 1920. After just a year or two at IIT you will likely have garnered enough
knowledge to make sense of all that garble, but for now it’s just the principle that’s important.
Mr. Stevens opened up a world of opportunity and satisfaction by advocating for an advanced
radio apparatus at Illinois Institute of Technology, solidifying a future for one of the oldest radio
stations in the country. Since initial operation in the basement of the physics building as an
amateur station, WIIT has survived WWII radio stoppages, location and equipment changes, the addition of FM, a name change (temporary call sign WOUI), and the death of radio. Such
perseverance is only possible because of the passion of Illinois Tech students.
Stepping into the current location, A. Sidney Katz studio, provides those brave enough to
answer the call of live radio a respite from the garble and rigor of everyday life. The wide orange windows, akin to the openness and warmth that is WIIT, let light stream in and joy radiate
out through the campus and beyond. Fittingly in the heart of campus, the center of the student
center, you can’t miss the station and it can’t miss you. WIIT and the students that make it
possible are inextricably intertwined and have been from the beginning. Our programming
supports the diversity that is reflected on campus and in our community with shows ranging from
afrobeats to Chicago house, midwest emo to the best of theater to local hip hop artists to
gospel, talk shows about local Chicago eateries, study habits and everything in between. If
there’s not already a show about it, you can host it! More on that later. The WIIT community
creates a space for each of us to expand our horizons by sharing what is important to us and
listening to what’s important to others.
By now, we’re far beyond the technology that H.D. Stevens introduced over 100 years ago. Our
equipment has changed (thank goodness), but our commitment to creativity and
forward-thinking hasn’t. As we look to thrive in the constantly evolving landscape of on-air radio,
we are constantly expanding operations and opportunities for the WIIT family, meaning there are
more than enough ways to get involved. Join the exec board to aid in day to day operations.
Write album and concert reviews, op-eds, interviews and more for the blog. Become a member
of the tech team to learn about our equipment and how to keep it in tip-top shape. Help our
music director team identify new music for automation, connecting with promoters and artists
new and old. And of course, you can always support the art of radio by hosting your very own show! Whatever you want to do, we welcome you and your talents with open arms, open hearts,
and open windows. For more visit radio.iit.edu.