On the evening of Jan. 3, I received an email from Karey Pine, the director of the Center for Campus Life. The email’s subject title had span over two lines and, with my mind still running on autopilot due to pulling a Reporter-related all-nighter, I was just about to trash it. However, the word “Freezefest” caught my eye, and I decided to skim the email just in case it held any interesting tidbits that I could pass onto one of my editors. After quickly going over the email a couple of times, I discovered that a viral video featuring members of the RIT community lip-syncing to “Eye of the Tiger” was in the works. In fact, Karey needed help spreading the word and generating hype for the filming on Jan. 9.
Honestly, I was feeling a little unsettled. Although I had passed the information on to my eboard, I knew that email wasn’t going to be the end of it. And lo and behold, Karey and Dr. Heath Boice-Pardee, assistant vice president for Student Affairs, prodded me for the reason why I didn’t raise my hand with the rest of the confirmed attendees at last Friday’s Senate meeting. I couldn’t help but smile; I knew it was coming.
Every week at Student Government’s (SG) Senate meetings, I find myself in a powerful, but somewhat awkward position. As editor-in-chief, I sit in on Senate but do not hold a voting seat. Being a part of Senate meetings means I can share my opinions if I choose and have the capability of getting the inside scoop from the major players on campus. It also means that SG can request Reporter to help them with certain projects by requesting man power, event coverage, advertising or what have you. This is where things start to get a little sticky.
A journalist’s job is to observe government groups and play watchdog. As such, it is my duty to report on and, yes, sometimes criticize the different groups on campus, especially the administration and SG. It is Reporter’s duty to hold these groups accountable because their choices and decisions impact the RIT community. A reporter cannot cover something if he is involved with and actively participating in it. That would be irresponsible.
Some of you may think I’m a school spirit grinch, especially after a few of you may have misinterpreted a previous editor’s note regarding a certain fountain on campus. However, that is hardly the case. I applaud Karey Pine and her team for a pretty good turnout last Sunday. It’s good to know that there are still people out there actively trying to raise school spirit, and I certainly think this is better than dumping orange dye in water. Unfortunately, I still have a few issues with the viral video’s execution. Mainly, why the rush?
With Freezefest taking place three weeks from now, why didn’t the viral video team take an extra week to raise awareness and approach the different organizations on campus to really get them invested? Giving students time fit you in their schedules and figure out what unique aspect they could bring to the project can only make it better. The Facebook event for the filming hadn’t been created until Friday afternoon, and the only reason I was aware of the effort was because of my affiliation to SG — something that doesn’t apply to the majority of the students RIT. There’s still room for improvement.
In closing, I want to refer to an editor’s note entitled “Gimmicked Out,” which was written roughly two years ago. At that point in time, President William Destler had just emerged from his second Orange Hair Challenge without a carrot top and the administrators were preparing for SG’s Dorm Challenge. The editorial stressed how the novelty of gimmicks eventually die down. It even caused a discussion during the next Senate meeting. If you really think about it, what would a viral video achieve? Would it improve and maintain attendance for RIT athletics (not including hockey)? I think not.