In this month’s Playboy magazine, WGRE’s name appears next to a picture of a naked woman. The radio station isn’t doing anything inappropriate, but their good reputation earned them the “Class Act” title of “Coolest Radio Station.”
For six years, Playboy has published a top-10 party schools list, and for the past two years it has accompanied that list with a slew of other honors, like “Hottest Sorority” and “Best College Sports Bar.” This year’s list falls under the title, “Class Act.”
“It’s all lighthearted, people enjoy it and there’s a healthy amount of competitive spirit with it,” said Steve Mazeika, a publicist for Playboy. Mazeika said editors of the magazine heard good things about the radio station, including feedback from alumni and Indiana residents through Playboy’s Facebook page. Of the dozens of nominations, WGRE emerged as the clear winner for the title.
“Based on the history, and the content that they have and the programming, it was an easy choice,” Mazeika said. “Since [the editors] heard WGRE was such a great station, they listened to it, went to the website, and it was sort of that process of weighing against the other schools.”
Last year’s winner was WSOU, the radio station of Seton Hall University (New Jersey).
Senior Tyler Archer, station manager at WGRE, said he didn’t know Playboy had a list like this, and that it is a fun recognition to have received. Despite the shoutout from Playboy, Archer said the station won’t be run with the title.
“I don’t take a whole lot of stock in what Playboy says,” Archer said. “I don’t know what they think they’re going to get out of having DePauw on that list.”
The magazine has been surprised at the popularity of the lists. The thought process behind the “Party Schools” and “Class Act” rankings is to consider what schools offer in addition to a good education — like parties, school spirit, bar scenes and student activities.
“We think ‘Where would someone who wants to live the Playboy lifestyle want to go to school?'” Mazeika said. “[WGRE] was nominated for a reason — it resonates with students, they are interested and it has a place in campus life.”
Though Archer joked that they might make a calendar of DJs as a play on the award, he said he thinks WGRE topped the list more for their name recognition than for its relation to the Playboy image.
“For me it’s just one of those things. It’s cool bragging rights,” Archer said. “You just kind of have to look at them and chuckle and move on. I don’t see any harm in it.”