Meghan Miller

Miami University is hosting a competition for students, faculty and staff to show their Miami experience in a whole new way.

The contest, called This Is Our Miami, encourages members of the Miami community to submit 30-second videos that detail their Miami experience.

The deadline for submission is Dec. 1 and voting will last from Dec. 2-11. Anyone can vote through the This Is Our Miami Web site, including family and friends. The winners will receive a variety of prizes.

According to Emily Berry, associate director of annual giving, who helped put the project together, the first place winner will receive a Nintendo Wii gaming system, the second place winner will get a flat screen television, and the third place winner will win a Flip Video camcorder.

Another winner will be chosen for the President’s Choice award, decided by staff and volunteers across the campus, and he or she will also receive a Wii.

When voting is complete, the winners will be announced through ThisIsOurMiami.com.

So far, however, there have only been three submissions, and the This Is Our Miami staff is trying to get the word out, according to Berry.

“We’re working with a student group from PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America) called PR Visions,” Berry said. “They have been placing a lot of posters around campus and sheets at the hub. We have a (Facebook.com) page and a Facebook group and we are getting ready to produce a commercial that will run on MUTV and at the hockey games.”

It seems, however, that word of mouth is the best advertising of all, as at least one of the three entries heard about the competition from Berry during class, according to Matthew Evins, a graduate student who entered the contest.

Evins said his experience of entering the contest was rewarding in itself as he was able to reminisce about his undergraduate years while participating in the competition.

“I had never created a video or anything like that, and since I went to Miami for my undergrad, too, it was fun to look back at the pictures and look at the different memories that I had from the past five years or so,” Evins said.

Evins added that his video took about four to five hours to create, after which he simply uploaded it to Youtube.com and submitted it to This Is Our Miami through a form on the Web site.

Berry also said while this is a competition of expression and creativity, the videos are reviewed before they are posted on the Web site in order to bar any inappropriate content.

Berry said this is a re-creation of a successful competition that occurred at California State University, Fresno (IamFresnoState.com).

Berry said Miami’s contest is more about building community than anything else.

“Our hope is that we can both create a sense of excitement and a sense of community and, as we plan to advertise and publicize the Web site and competition to Miami alumni, to show former students what Miami students are doing today,” Berry said.

More information can be found at thisisourmiami.com.

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