New #WeAreU campaign video attempts to promote campus inclusivity

#WeAreU is a campaign to address "civility and respect" on campus in an attempt to increase inclusion for all ethnicities and groups on campus. (Graphic by Ashley Maher, The Daily Campus)

UConn’s #WeAreU Campaign designed a video to advocate the university’s mission in creating a safe and accepting environment for students.

According to its Twitter page, the campaign is run “by students, for students,” and has a goal of encouraging respect and positivity among campus life. It uses various students on campus to create a diverse and opportune environment. 

The video communicates a visual interpretation of UConn students’ values.

“If email isn’t the optimum form of communication then how else can we provoke each other to really think about the values that make our campus unique,” Dean of Students Eleanor Daugherty said. “Having a visual campaign is recognizable and is created, designed and owned by everyone who participates.”

The video features approximately one hundred volunteers, consisting of students, deans and staff. It even features a student who just transferred to the Storrs campus, Daugherty said. It is an open creative process and anyone can be a part of it.

The first video in the series features many students, along with President Susan Herbst, discussing how they as an individual embody UConn. This is the second video made by the campaign, but is set to be screened as the third video.

The clip begins with UConn student Kaitlyn Allen walking down Fairfield Way, and is eventually joined by a handful of students and staff. The group walks in unison and then Allen says, “You belong here.”

“The idea of the campaign is to serve as a reminder to our student body of the values we treasure as a Husky,” Allen said. “Promoting a culture of respect and civility.”

The concept of the video developed over months and included a number of discussion groups with students and staff, Daugherty said.

 “The presence, the people, the language, the direction we take is all a reflection of students and staff working together,” Daugherty said. “The video’s goal is not to preach, but to provoke speech. The best way to combat speech is with speech.”

UConn organizations are known to hold events and fundraisers to raise awareness to their cause, but this campaign plans to stick to videos and other media.

“I don't anticipate that the campaign would ever have events”, Daugherty said. “It’s really meant to be a means of challenging ourselves to think about what it means to be at UConn.”

The first video revolves around the concept of “I,” the second “we,” and the third video is a culmination of the word “us.”

“These are our students’ desires and their words and their hopes for each other and themselves,” Daugherty said.

Richard Monroy is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at richard.monroy@uconn.edu.