WESN’s ‘Passion Fruit’ amplifies women’s passions

By adviser Apr 2, 2021
The trio had this logo specially designed and painted to represent the show. Illustration: Jazmin Moreno
The trio had this logo specially designed and painted to represent the show.
Illustration: Jazmin Moreno

When WESN radio asked for new radio shows in January, three IWU students answered the call. Juniors Katie Fata , Isabel Sperry  and Alexis Ries  host the show ‘Passion Fruit’ on the revitalized IWU radio station where they talk about anything and everything that women are passionate about. They have covered a range of topics on their show like socialism, squishmallows, Soairse Ronan, mental health, poetry and social media usage. Along with talking about women’s passions, they play a variety of Indie music. 

When the three learned of the opportunity, they “thought it sounded like a blast” Sperry said.  “We love to listen to music and to talk about literally everything, so why not broadcast it live to the world.”

 The three took the step from talking as friends to discussing topics that range from the light-hearted to the more serious on a public platform. 

“We started the show because we wanted a space for women to speak about their passions freely. Two hours to speak unpoliced about your interests as a woman without a man interrupting is rare” Fata said. 

They also invite guests on the show to “interview women about what they’re most passionate about.” Some of their previous interviewees are IWU students Samira Kassem, Julie Cozette, Yovana Milosevic and Maria Harmon.

 “We try to have deeper conversations about how those passions are influenced by the fact that we’re women,” Fata said. 

In Cozette’s interview, for example, the topic was mental health. When asked, Cozette said that being friends already with the three hosts made it a safe and enjoyable environment to talk about mental health issues. The experience was fulfilling in that the show affirmed her work, and the hosts built a strong dialogue around the topic that Cozette was passionate about. 

“I spoke about my experience as a female Roma poet and how social media expects me to act because of those things,” Milosevic said. “We had really important uninterrupted conversations.”

More serious topics like mental health and illness can be hard to discuss, especially in a public setting. But Fata, Sperry and Ries created an environment where the interviewee felt safe and heard while also providing valuable and relatable information to their listeners. 

In regards to the show’s general theme, Cozette said “I just appreciate the basis of their show spotlighting and legitimizing women’s passions when so often they’re passed off as childish and trivial.” She explained that many women feel that their interests are discredited simply because certain interests are associated with women and femininity. 

Fata’s, Perry’s and Ries’s love for music and conversation has turned into a platform where IWU women can speak about the things that they care about. It has become a space of validation and camaraderie for anyone at IWU to enjoy. If you would like to listen to ‘Passion Fruit,’ tune in to WESN 88.1 on Fridays at 10pm, visit tunein.com or download the TuneIn app. To be interviewed on the show, message ‘Passion Fruit’s’ twitter at @passionwe1.

There are a lot of interesting shows to check out on WESN 88.1. There are IWU Sports updates and student run shows. More info about what IWU’s revitalized radio station has to offer can be found on their twitter @WESN_IWU. 

By adviser

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