Student Film Helps Bring Students and Faculty Together

During the year of 2002, UVM seems to have experienced a variety of changes that affected current and prospective students, faculty, and staff. A new president, a 20% increase in applications for admission, and continued efforts to promote forms of diversity on campus are among the significant events that have taken place. Sophomore Raphael Okutoro has endeavored to capture these changes on film by creating a film that depicts student life at UVM. The film, titled “Inside UVM” will be aired later this month. The film explores prominent administrative transformations as well as students’ relationships with faculty and staff. “A lot of people don’t know what UVM is all about,” said Okutoro. “They don’t know about the student and professor experiences or the different interactions on campus.” One of Okutoro’s objectives in the film is to investigate how students, faculty, and staff work with each other. For instance, the film communicates professors’ concerns, such as the challenge of generating a stimulating learning environment for students. It also details the challenges that Police Services faces in maintaining a safe campus. “Interviewing staff members from across the university is a great way to gain a broader perspective that students don’t often have the chance to hear.” said Annie Stevens of Student and Campous Life “I think the more students get to know their professors as human beings as opposed to authority figures or knowledge gurus, then barriers are broken down between theteaching/learning transaction and real learning can begin.”Professor Tom Patterson said. The film also delves into how various administrative undertakings are shaping life at UVM. For instance, this past year was particularly competitive for prospective students to gain admission to the university, with a 20 percent increase in applications. Additionally, President Fogel’s experiences as a new leader and his goals for the university are explored in the film. Furthermore, the film examines different ways how UVM is trying to promote diversity on campus. In the film, diversity exists through sexual orientation, race, religion, extracurricular interests, etc. and the administration is striving to foster a campus climate that embraces these differences. Okutoro’s film has received a great deal of praise for the way it depicts various aspects of life at UVM. “It should be a great tool for stimulating reflection and conversation in the UVM community,” said faculty member Susan Dinitz. “I hope this endeavor will encourage others to analyze issues in a way that brings people together and supports a community of care and concern,” said Robert Kelly, Associate Dean of Students, “UVM is on the verge of doing some amazing things and moving forward. I think this video is a step in the right direction.”