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Lip dub helps new students get acquainted with student leaders and student life staff

Connecticut College's student leaders and student life staff know they are fun people. This year, it took just 10 minutes for the College's newest students to know it, too. At a welcome event on their first night of orientation, members of the Class of 2015 and new transfer students were introduced to more than 120 student leaders and staff members from the College's Offices of Student Life - via "lip dub."

Connecticut College OSL Lipdub 2011 from Nathan Butera on Vimeo.

The 10-minute music video combines lip synching and audio dubbing to give viewers a comical tour of key student life offices - including the offices of Residential Education and Living, Student Engagement and Leadership Education, Student Health Services, Student Counseling Services and Student Wellness - and to introduce student leaders in a way that makes them seem more approachable for new students. Scott McEver (introduced at :44), Director of Student Engagement and Leadership Education, directed the video and had a friend of his, Nathan Butera, do the filming and synching.

McEver said a few members of the student life staff came up with the idea over the summer, and the students were quick to get on board. "The students were great - they really wanted to make it as much fun as possible," McEver said. "And the different student groups started trying to impress each other with matching costumes. The part on the road - with the black outfits and dinosaur costumes - those are student staff members from the different residence houses."

The entire video, McEver said, was filmed in one continuous shot - an impressive feat in and of itself. "We had planned two shots, and several practice runs," McEver said, "but then the College had to delay because of Hurricane Irene. In the end, we only had time for one shot on the morning before the storm." The one-take-only approach meant the video isn't "perfect," but McEver said that is part of the fun. "It wasn't meant to showcase perfection, it was meant to show new students that there are great people here on campus and that they shouldn't be shy about getting to know us."

Dean of Student Life Jocelyn Briddell (introduced at :22) said the video was not only a unique way to introduce new students to key people on campus, but a powerful bonding experience for all involved. "It truly was a community effort and loads of fun, particularly with the storm coming," Briddell said. "It expresses the sentiment we wanted to convey and that was to welcome our new students."

September 16, 2011