UF class makes a difference on campus

COMM 375, New Media Design and Production is expanding their learning outside of the classroom.

By: Alexis Mitchell

Students in the class split up into groups, and for the first few weeks of the semester started brainstorming into what they wanted their group project subject to be. Students then picked a cause and created a mission statement. They discussed memes and other things that have went viral on social media, and learned how use social media to promote a campaign.

“Then we decided based on the theory that we read, how to actually make these campaigns go viral at UF,” said Dr. Megan Adams, the professor teaching the COMM 375 course. “The goal was that hopefully they would pick something they really cared about or are passionate about”.

One of the groups participating in COMM 375 is EcOilers. EcOilers’s goal is to spread the message of living green and protecting the environment.

“Our goal is to create awareness about both the lack of opportunities on our campus to live green,” said group member Sarah Stubbs. “There aren’t a lot of opportunities to conveniently recycle, but also to inform students about the existing opportunities to recycle and simple decisions they can make in their daily life to live green,” she said.

EcOilers is hosting a 21-day challenge. The first week of the challenge is focused on showing students ways to reduce carbon footprint, the second week is geared toward showing how to reuse recyclable things like water bottles, and the last week aims to show which items to recycle, and where they can be recycled.

Stubbs thinks that not only will this challenge inform people where they can reduce, reuse, and recycle on campus but it will bring awareness that there really aren’t a lot of places on campus to be green.

Another group in COMM 375 is called Speak Over Silence. This group’s campaign seeks to challenge the notion that silence the only option for those who find themselves struggling. Whether students are struggling with a mental illness, or just the everyday stress of a college student, this campaign encourages students to speak up. Group members have already started helping those struggling with the aforementioned issues by creating a Facebook page. This page will enable people can go to a safe and confidential place to share their feelings. The group’s motto is “Everyone has their own problem, will you listen?”

“As much as we would love to fix all those problems, we realize that we simply can’t,” said group member Megan Talbert. “But we can offer compassion in the midst of them. We have all been there and you are not alone. We are willing to listen,” she said.

Both groups are also holding their own event to spread awareness of their cause. Speak Over Silence had a solidarity stand this Wednesday, April 5 at the Corey Street Mall. The first 200 students who arrived at the solidarity stand received yellow bandanas to wear as they stood in silence, holding hands with their fellow classmates for ones who have went through, or are still going through a hard time.

EcOilers is having a pledge signing in the AMU April 22 from 12-2 p.m. The first 150 students who attend will receive a reusable grocery bag and pledge to live green. Students can also sign the pledge online any time through EcOilers’s website. The web address is at the bottom of the page.

“I hope that they connect to this project, and it’s something that they really care about so they feel a sense of accomplishment in that regard as well,” Dr. Adams said.

To check out the group’s social media campaigns, click on the links below.

 EcoOilers’s website: https://ecoilers.wixsite.com/ecoilers

Speak Over Silence Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Speakoversilence/

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