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Video highlights diverse community

Tori Roeck | Thursday, September 13, 2012

The newest viral video on the Notre Dame campus is a product of the University’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Joyce Lantz, director of communications for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, said the “Any Given Day” video, which has been viewed nearly 27,000 times, features students with diverse academic tracks and extracurricular activities to show prospective students the range of opportunities available to them at Notre Dame.

“Students at Notre Dame go above and beyond the ordinary college student, making our students and our days extraordinary,” Lantz said. “Students enjoy the challenge of academic rigor, and there is always something happening on campus to attract their intellectual curiosity.”

The video also emphasizes Notre Dame’s sense of community and Catholic identity, she said, making students “truly a part of something larger than themselves.”

“Notre Dame offers a distinctive Catholic experience within an environment of universal moral values,” Lantz said. “This open and accepting community of faith urges one to examine issues from all angles; it also fills one with a sense of purpose, passion and meaning. Regardless of one’s individual faith tradition, he or she will feel affirmed at Notre Dame.”

Senior Martha Dee, who appears in the video, said it highlights parts of the Notre Dame experience that most prospective students don’t get the chance to see.

“I think it shows a lot of different facets of Notre Dame life, which is a good thing,” Dee said. “We tend to get a one-sided view of Notre Dame, the tradition and the Catholicism and the straight-edged student population, but I think this video gives a really cool and dynamic perspective.”

Dee said the video not only depicts how students spend their time while attending Notre Dame but also the different paths they will take after graduation.

“Not only is it giving a rock-star view of Notre Dame … but showing how these experiences here will ultimately lead to the rest of your life,” she said. “This is a jumpstart from where you then go into your career or into your future social life.”  

Lantz said the Office of Undergraduate Admissions held a casting call to recruit students to appear in the video.

“We were seeking students that could tell their Notre Dame story with authenticity,” she said. “We did not want to work from a script, nor present a ‘talking heads’ format.  Instead, we thought of the process in terms of conversations, conversations one could have with any Notre Dame student on ‘any given day.'”

Dee said she was unsure of how the video would turn out while filming but is thrilled with the final product.

“When we were shooting the footage, it was just a bunch of walking down the hall and doing the same things over again, and you’re like, ‘How are they going to put this together? What is putting on makeup in a room going to show a prospective student?'” she said. “But when all those little clips were put together, you got every single different view of Notre Dame you possibly could get. I loved the way it turned out.”

The student reaction to the video over social media was impressive as well, she said.

“It was on everybody’s Facebook page within 45 minutes of it being posted,” Dee said. “Everybody was like, ‘This is awesome! This is why I go to this school! I love Notre Dame.'”

Dee said she got goosebumps and started crying the first time she watched the video, and she hopes prospective students get the same feeling.

“I think for perspective students who are on the edge – they probably were accepted to a bunch of top-tier schools – looking at his video could give them a really cool look into Notre Dame that you may not otherwise see,” she said.

Junior Caroline Ramsey said the video encapsulates the Notre Dame “work hard, play hard” mentality.

“It shows that [Notre Dame students are] really involved in studies and involved in engaging in a lot of different activities and exercising their curiosity in so many ways, more than just academic,” Ramsey said. “It tried to show a picture of a whole life, a whole person. That’s what college is all about, educating the whole person. That’s what Notre Dame is about.”