“NYU has been my dream school since I was in seventh grade,” Tisch freshman Sveta Pyntikova said. This is an introduction usually exchanged during welcome week, but the Class of 2016 is ahead of the game — Pyntikova and some of her classmates have taken their college journeys to the web before they have even set foot on campus.
This year, students from the College of Arts and Science; the Liberal Studies Program; the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development; the Stern School of Business and the Tisch School of the Arts will be broadcasting their hopes, dreams and fears about their experience on YouTube.
This student-organized effort originated from incoming Tisch freshman Luke Winter, who created the T16, a group of sixteen Tisch freshman who plan to video vlog their first year at NYU.
Winter, an acting major from suburban Ohio, had always wanted to begin his own vlog but was looking for the right concept.
“Finally, the idea came to me to film my life in New York.” he said. “Going to NYU is something that’s special about me that people may enjoy watching.”
After Winter posted in the Tisch Class of 2016 Facebook group asking for volunteers, T16 was born with 16 representing the year of their anticipated graduation. On July 12, the T16 vlogging team posted their first video on their YouTube channel called thetisch16, and they have been updating their channel ever since. Other freshman schools followed suit with their vlogging channels.
The T16 has spurred the formation of similar vlogging channels, including the Faces of Founders stream specializing in the freshman dorm.
CAS16 member, Jack Sterne views the vlogs more as a personal diary and said the videos one day will serve up a laugh or two for his friends.
“They’re fun, they’re interesting, they give an honest perspective to a cool time in our lives,” he said. “I’m sure when I’m getting married, at the rehearsal dinner when my friends roast me, they’ll show some of these videos.”
The project has also caught the attention of upperclassmen who saw a big change in the incoming student experience.
“Going into my freshman year I remember watching maybe one video but it was less personal because it was scripted and gave me very basic information,” CAS sophomore Cindy Pi said. “It’s interesting to see social media take on such a big role this year.”
Marc Wais, vice director of Student Affairs, sees the project as another way to form tight-knit communities within the university.
“I think this can have a positive effect of making NYU more personable and shrinking the psychological size of this place,” he said.
A version of this story appeared in the Aug. 26 print edition. Gentry Brown is university editor. Email her at email@example.com.
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