James Downs, associate professor of history and American studies, will spend the 2015-16 academic year studying medical anthropology at Harvard University.
The members of 2014 Class Council were looking to introduce themselves in a way that would catch the attention of their busy classmates. The answer, it seems, was 'jorts.'
"We cannot undermine the crucial role of jorts (jean shorts) in establishing cordial relationships with our class members," Class of 2014 President Prashanth Selvam said. "Nothing sparks ideas and conversations like ridiculous attire."
Selvam and the rest of the class council, Vice President Shuyler Nazareth, Social Chair Peter Herron and Student Activities Council Representative Conor McCormick-Cavanagh, invoked the power of comedy - and the power of jorts - in a YouTube video designed to let their classmates know about a new class Facebook page.
"One of our main objectives as a class council has been to be more visible and better connected with our class," Selvam said. "We decided a comical video would be a great way to get started." He added, "We also couldn't resist the idea of recreating 'The A-Team' trailer on our campus in the most ridiculous manner possible."
Taking cues from 'The A-Team,' the video introduces each jorts-wearing member of the class council in a way that makes the class' elected officials seem more approachable. Nazareth, for example, is introduced in the library reading the literary classic, "The Hippopotamus Book." While he reads, he removes one pair of brightly colored sunglasses, only to reveal another pair. While the video itself is comical, the idea is to get students acquainted with their class council so they are comfortable discussing real campus issues with their elected representatives.
In addition to the Facebook page, which will be used to announce events and collect feedback, the council is also inviting at least one member of the class to sit in on the council's weekly meetings to provide input and feedback.
"All four of us try to be heavily involved in student life at Conn, and that in itself enhances communication not only with our class, but the entire student population," Selvam said.
Selvam also hopes to produce more videos. He said each member of the council had a role in the production - he directed and edited the video, Herron wrote the script, Nazareth was the voice actor and McCormick-Cavanagh taught the others how to act and provided the most important prop - his car. Hafez Alsaidi '14 contributed as cameraman.
"The feedback has been absolutely fantastic," Selvam said. "One kind individual even suggested we make campaign videos for the upcoming presidential election."
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