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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Photo challenge showcases Brandeis pride

Published: November 1, 2013
Section: Arts, Etc.

Ten days and multiple forms of social media resulted in over 500 tweets from Brandeisians who were eager to share their school pride, community and favorite places on campus. On Oct. 21, Brandeis launched the #Brandeis 10-Day Challenge, Photo-A-Day, which encouraged all students to take photos according to different themes and share them on social media. The challenge ended Thursday.

“The photo challenge is so much more than showcasing creativity on campus. The posts and tweets breathe life into what people hear and see about the Brandeis community and experience. The messages and photos offer perspective to those considering Brandeis for college and reconnect alumni and even students who are currently abroad back to campus,” said Monika Bach Schroeder, assistant director of marketing and communications at Hiatt Career Center. It was Schroeder’s idea to create this photo contest.

“These 10 days have been an opportunity for each member of the Brandeis community (no matter how near or far) to share with others, reconnect, show Brandeis pride and be reminded of all of the experiences that we share and love here,” Schroeder said.

Schroeder states that her idea arose because late October is a season of many Brandeis festivities, from Fall Fest to the Athletic Homecoming, and she thought the photo challenge would fit in perfectly. She had also witnessed similar social media campaigns taking place at other schools.

“This seemed like the perfect opportunity to try something new, given that we had never done anything like this at Brandeis, and create some exciting buzz around campus. However, there have been many departments and staff who were instrumental in making it such a success, including Social Media Specialist in the Office of Communications Allison Morse,” Schroeder said.

Each day of the challenge featured a “phrase of the day,” from “shake hands with Louis” to “family” to “favorite spot on campus.” Students took these prompts in different directions. Some painted their nails the Brandeis colors, others took photos with their alumni legacy family, and some climbed up onto the Louis statue.

Schroeder has only heard positive reactions after implementing the challenge. “I’ve heard great things! I think students and staff have enjoyed seeing how each person and department has really put their own spin on each prompt/day. I also think that students and staff/faculty are really proud of what’s happening around campus, and this was a fun and engaging way to share their Brandeis pride,” she said.

Faculty such as Andrew Flagel, senior vice president of students and enrollment, have also gotten involved in the challenge, actively tweeting photos. Students posted their photos on both Twitter and Facebook.

Part of the draw to students may be the prizes. Each day, a winner received a small prize, and people who posted a photo each day became eligible for the grand prize. This gift was described as the “Brandeis bundle” and included a 32 GB iPad with a Retina display.

For a school where few people head outdoors to watch sporting events or wear Brandeis colors, the photo challenge has given Brandeisians the opportunity to do something rarely seen: express true school spirit.