Out of all of the Ramdition Orientations I have been a part of, I believe this by far was the most engaging for the students and for myself. This year I was given a task to get the incoming freshmen to take pictures. I’ve taken plenty of photos for Ramdition before, but this year I wanted to try something different. Usually this involves taking lots and lots of candid shots, a grouping of posed pics and numerous attempts at hoping the students don’t feel like they “don’t look right” and getting refusals.
Since part of my job encompasses curating the Social Media outlets for the library (Facebook | Twitter |Instagram | WordPress), I know youth, pictures and social media go hand-in-hand. I pretty much had to create an opportunity for the freshmen to take all the pictures they wanted to in the library that wasn’t boring or lame. Thus the Ramdition Take Flight Photo Booth and Atrium Group Terminal were born (think Powerpuff Girls music for excitement right here people).
I shared my kooky ideas with Shaadia Moore, our University Program Specialist and she was on board to help. Shaadia and I decided on everything for the booth and staircase area together. We brought our two creative minds and a ton of crafting supplies together to make a fun place for our “New Rams” to enjoy. We measured, cut, hot glued which made a mess in our work area and ended up with a colorful booth and cute banner to use. I believe just about every O’Kelly Ramdition attendant came to our booth to take a fun picture with our props. The students took single double and large group pictures together and a fair amount of students took pictures in the Atrium.
This whole thing had many hands involved. Evyan Jeff McGill, Justin Grandison and Byron Williams rotated photographer duties at each of the stations and they also helped guide the students to the areas to take their pics. Every single image was uploaded to the Instagram page of the library so a great deal of students began following us to see themselves and their friends.
Even some of the O’Kelly staff got involved and took some goofy pics which I have saved to use as blackmail should the need arise…just kidding folks.
I learned some weird things like: Ducklips are still a thing. People like sticking their tongues out a lot in pictures now…go figure. (I can’t talk because I used to do too many bunny ears and tried to be “dope” in my day), guys still don’t smile as much as they could (this was kind of expected) kids like sharing any and all pics on social media (again expected) and if you can get the group envolved, it become all the more fun.
The biggest thing I learned was that a big part of making an awesome impression is “engagement”. I actually can walk on campus now and many of the students say “hi” and that they remember me for taking their pictures and sharing them on Instagram, they remember I am the lady that does the library social media, which is cool.
I hope to toss out other ideas for next year’s Ramdition in O’Kelly that lean away from throwing a ton of info at the students without engaging them on their level with different games and devices like smartphone apps and other technology that “all the kids are into these days” (end fist-shaking old miser speak).
By the way, here is the library social media again. Please follow us on one or all:
Author: Luchrita Fulton