New competition ‘exposes’ students online

By Kaiti Deerberg

A new campus talent competition is calling for students to log on and win big using websites like Flickr and YouTube.

The Admissions Office and the Student Communications Office is hosting the college’s first online student talent competition called “Expose Yourself.”

The competition will have three categories for submission in audio, image and video. Students can upload their work on popular hosting sites to share online for submission.

Matthew Green, director of Online Student Communications, said the criteria for submissions is open-ended, and competition coordinators would like to see work from all majors.

“We are expecting a lot of film students and songwriters to submit, which is great, but we want to see all majors-dance majors performing on video, things like that,” Green said. “If you’re a management major that has a video starring your cat that you think people would like, we want that, too.”

Green said the idea originated after the success of 2008’s Manifest T-shirt competition. Students submitted design ideas for T-shirts, and fellow students voted online to choose the winning shirt.

The “Expose Yourself” competition coincides with Manifest. Winners will be announced during Manifest on May 15. Other entries and work from the competition will be displayed during the festival, as well.

“Manifest is all about showcasing student work, so we want to collect a ton of work for students and the public to share,” Green said.

A fourth category that will serve as its own separate competition, called “Show Don’t Tell, ” will invite students to chronicle their time at Columbia. Suggestions for “Show Don’t Tell” include a day in the life at Columbia, favorite campus hangouts and South Loop issues.

“‘Show Don’t Tell’ is an audio/visual essay designed to get students to create a snapshot of the dynamic urban campus here,” said Norman Alexandroff, director of Student Communications.

The payoff for the competition could be very sweet for winning students. Awards will include up to $3,000 in tuition credit and other lavish gifts. Contest coordinators are in the process of deciding between prizes such as a VIP weekend at Lollapalooza, Vespa scooters and travel packages.

“We have yet to refine our prizes,” Alexandroff said. “We are decided on the tuition credit, but we’re still deciding between some other options for additional prizes,”

The deadline for submissions is March 27. Students can upload their photos, videos and audio files on any popular hosting site and then submit them to the “Expose Yourself” page on Columbia’s website. Submissions will go through two rounds of voting. Fellow students will vote for their favorite work online from March 30 to April 17. The winners of that round will then be posted for the general public to vote for online from April 17 to May 8.

Green said the contest has already received 30 to 40 submissions on the “Expose Yourself” website since it was launched on Feb. 22.

Alexandroff said he also hopes this competition will serve as a way to get Columbia work out into the public eye.

“Columbia is at the forefront of new media, we want to show that off and get student work out to there and continue doing this contest,” Alexandroff said. “This is a test run, we want to build equity on this so we can use it as a vehicle to show off work every Manifest.”

CORRECTION FROM PRINT EDITION: The correct link to view more information about “Expose Yourself” is  Colum.edu/ExposeYourself.

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