Story Ideas: Older Students, Rat Rods & a Dance Revolution

This occasional CMM series features a sampling of crazy cool or highly relevant stories that can be localized for different campus audiences- along with a few suggestions on ways to create and present that content.

1) Dancer, Revolutionary: Student staffers at Ball State’s Ball Bearings recently produced a fantastic audio slideshow featuring Ian Truelove, a BSU undergrad who is known for dancing across campus.  It is a nice reminder of the endless potential of public expression stories.  There must be a few brave or quirky students, profs or townies who are known for their more unique activities, attires or routines while on campus.  This type of report makes me think even larger- maybe a slideshow of eclectically-decorated student dorms or professors’ offices, or a behind-the-scenes video of how the hip hop club gets down.  Or of course there is the ultimate social media/public expression effort: Plan a flash mob– a dance or even a snowball fight.

2) Older Undergraduates: As a report in Insight at University of Nevada, Reno, begins, “Picture the most diverse undergraduate student you know. The funkiest. The least traditional. Chances are, even in the most radical mash-up of identity politics— the vegetarian Buddhist lesbian Chicana— the visualization is pretty standard regarding one pretty specific characteristic: age.” Undergraduates in their mid-to-late twenties, and beyond, provide an interesting student set to profile– their back-stories (i.e. why the later start/finish?) and their inherent advantages and difficulties mingling with their younger student peers.  Multimedia angle: This type of story screams for an audio slideshow, allowing an older student or two to share their story in their own words.

3) “Trash My Ride”: FLUX at the University of Oregon recently ran a feature on rat rods, or especially beat-up older cars purposefully kept in crappy condition.  Is there a rat rod culture on or near your campus?  Are certain students known for having especially decrepit vehicles?  Or maybe this calls for a more general story on students’ memories of their first autos or craziest driving tales.

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