The Chronicle looked at why college traditions matter and discovered a rich and varied culture on so many campuses. There are more college traditions out there than we can possibly get to, so we asked students to share them with us.
The response to our original call for submissions was strong. We selected a few standouts, and they’re featured below. Each includes a description of the video and comments from the Chronicle judges.
It’s not too late to be involved. Check out our new call and act now.
Bowling Green State University
Produced, shot, and edited by Matthew Henkes with support from SICSIC and its adviser, Jacob Clemens.
The entry: SICSIC is composed of six students with secret identities. It was founded in 1946 by the university's president at the time, Frank J. Prout, as a way to increase school spirit. Selected as sophomores, the students remain in the group until their senior year. Members hide their identities by wearing masks and jumpsuits while they travel the campus posting large signs and passing out candy. Each year the senior SICSIC members are finally unmasked at the conclusion of their three years of service.
From the judges: We laughed out loud when Spiderman and the other members were interviewed — the masked voices were completely unexpected. We encouraged student filmmakers to have fun with this challenge, and SICSIC taps into the spirit that we were looking for.
Narrated by Anthony Allocco. Produced, shot, and edited by Jordan Allen.
The entry: WOUB Gridiron Glory is a student-run production based at OU, where the student reporters cover local high-school football. The show has had a tradition of excellence since its inception, but, according to Jordan Allen, “a tradition more sacred than awards the show has received is in an act in which life imitates sports.”
From the judges: This video had the highest production quality – which was not totally surprising because of the use of the TV studio. We thought that the story was well organized and original. We also liked the sincerity of the interviews.
Written, directed, and filmed by Joel Cruz and Connor Niver.
The entry: Colors Wars is an all-out campus melee that pits the even class numbers against the odd in a vast battle of red and green paint.
From the judges: We were impressed with the use of a drone to capture this huge campus event. The interviews gave us the context we were looking for. The video would have been stronger if the staid, conventional introduction had been eliminated, or perhaps edited to highlight the contrast between normally bucolic Longwood and this outrageous tradition.
Call for Submissions: College Traditions Short Films
There are more college traditions out there than we can possibly get to, so we want you to share your stories with us. We know there are talented videographers out there — show us your stuff! Take us inside your traditions, and be creative with your filmmaking. We’ll periodically highlight the best submissions. Guidelines:
- You must be an active student or team of students!
- Your submission should be a short film, no longer than three minutes. Faculty members can advise and help you, but we want to showcase your work.
- The video should tell a story — what’s the context of the ritual, and what do students or faculty members think of it? It must be a real tradition, and nothing should be set up just for the video. Be creative, but be safe. We are not responsible for any injuries or damage to equipment.
- Successful entries will be authentic looks at your college traditions, not promotional pieces. There are plenty of great outlets for promotional material. But this is a documentary narrative.
Email a link to your video to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 30, 2016. Include a list of who should be credited as well as a brief description of the film. Be prepared to deliver a 1280 x 720p H.264 version via Dropbox if your film is selected.