Capturing the ‘Red Storm’ spirit

If there’s one thing that interests college students, it’s Internet videos.

Walk around any college campus, and you will hear at least one conversation about the latest and greatest YouTube craze. Look at a college student’s Facebook page and you’ll see links to their favorite videos.
Some students also enjoy making their own videos, celebrating their interests and highlighting the latest trends.

St. John’s latest marketing venture capitalizes on this new method of communication.

The Office of Marketing and Communications has joined with the Department of Student Life to create a contest that gives students a new outlet to express their feelings for St. John’s.

The “Capture the Storm” contest asked students to submit a one minute video that describes the core values of St. John’s, particularly truth, love, respect, opportunity, excellence and service.

The contest was open to undergraduate students 18 and older from all of the St. John’s campuses. Students were allowed to enter more than one piece, keeping in mind basic copyright laws and regulations.

Students were asked to post their videos on their personal YouTube accounts and then send the University a link to the site.

So far, there have been a number of entries submitted, although the official number won’t be announced until after the April 20 deadline.

The videos will be judged by a panel assembled by James Salnave, associate dean for Student Development in the Student Life department on the Queens campus.

Salnave said he would like to see Capture the Storm become an annual event.

“I think that it is a great opportunity for students to get involved and tell their colleagues about their college experience,” he said.

The judging is set up in a two part process designed to get the entire university community involved. This way, students will have two opportunities to win.

First, the videos will be judged by the panel, which will be comprised of two student workers, one administrator from Student Affairs and one marketing representative.

The panel will pick its top three videos, which will be then posted on St. John’s Central so that the students can vote for their favorite.

First prize is $1000, second prize is $500 and third prize is $250.

The winning video will be featured on both St. John’s Central and the University’s main homepage.

It may also be used by the Admissions Department as a recruitment tool for incoming students.

“Capture the Storm” will also be a useful tool in creating buzz for the University, especially for prospective freshmen. The videos will provide a fresh viewpoint on the St. John’s experience, seen directly through the eyes of a student.

The Office of Student Life worked with the Office of Marketing and Communications to reach out to students. They sent students out onto campus, armed with video cameras in order to show students how easy it would be to enter the contest.

Caren Batzer, director of Brand Communications, said she believes the contest is a chance for students to share their personal favorite things about St. John’s.

“I think it’s really good to see a student’s perspective on what goes on here,” she said.

She also said she hopes that the contest, which was created to capitalize on the University’s new Web site, will become an annual event.

The videos will be available for students to vote on by the end of the month. The winners of the contest will be announced May 4 via the University’s Web site.