Photos courtesy of Xavier University | Xavier University Point of View (XUPOV) employs students from a variety of majors and years to tell their stories.
Xavier officially launched Xavier University Point of View (XUPOV) last January. The project facilitated student-created content such as blog posts or photographs of the student perspective and vlogs. The program, launched by the Office of Marketing and Communications, creates content for Xavier’s website and social media platforms.
Video blogging or “vlogging” is a popular method used originally by content creators primarily on YouTube, to intimately connect with their fan bases by filming everything from mundane tasks such as shopping and cooking to professionally documenting their everyday lives.
The “daily vlogging” movement took off when YouTube Personality Shay Carl began uploading a daily vlog of his family for four years—1,825 days straight of filming, editing and uploading.
According to Time Magazine, time spent watching family vloggers on YouTube is up 90 percent from last year.
It’s no wonder, then, why video producer Debora Del Valle would want to capitalize on the market for the university with XUPOV and Xavier’s “storytellers.”
Del Valle was assigned the project after Doug Ruschman, the assistant vice president for marketing and communications (MarCom), suggested the idea.
Ruschman was inspired to launch XUPOV after attending a convention where Georgetown University showcased its “Georgetown Stories” program in which students documented their lives through short videos.
Although paid for their work, students are mostly unrestricted in their content. MarCom wants to see the authentic perspective of a Xavier student.
“We didn’t tell them what to do,” explained Del Valle. “We said ‘we won’t make them do a video on going to your academic advisor.’”
First-year Tyler Gilkey (left) was recently brought on the team of seven student storytellers. In addition to being the new kid on the block, Gilkey adds more diversity to the storytellers.
“We try to mix it up with different kinds of people . . . they’re going to be able to tell stories . . . I’m not going to be able to tell that story,” Del Valle remarked, “. . . I’m not a college student in 2017.”
Gilkey feels empowered by the opportunity to show prospective and current students Xavier and Cincinnati life through his eyes of a “psychology major who is bisexual and is involved in the arts.”
Gilkey intends to represent the school’s LGBTQ+ community with his newly-magnified voice. Gilkey said that vlogging is unique: “It’s more personal and interactive than any other platform because you get the opportunity to actually come along with me on my experiences and watch what it was like when it was live.”
By: Brittany Wells ~Guest Writer~