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2011 News Releases

PSA video by Longwood students needs your vote to win statewide contest

August 3, 2011

A video produced by Longwood University students has been selected among the top three finalists in a statewide contest of public service announcements about campus safety and is now eligible for the top prize, which will be decided in public voting.

The governor's office announced Aug. 2 that Longwood University's 30-second video, along with videos submitted by Virginia Intermont College and Wytheville Community College, are the finalists in the College Campus Safety and Violence Prevention PSA Challenge, a statewide video competition. They were chosen from among 11 entries that were judged on their overall theme, message, originality, and technical production. Online voting - on the website of the Governor's Office for Substance Abuse Prevention, http://www.gosap.virginia.gov/, where all three videos have been posted - will continue through 5 p.m. Aug. 26, and the winning video will be announced in September with a ceremony to follow at the campus of the winning video. The winning PSA will also air on television statewide.

The Longwood video highlights the consequences involved with alcohol abuse, ending with a hazy encounter with police and the on-screen message "It only takes a night to change your life." The video was uploaded to YouTube on May 1, the day after it was submitted.

Sasha Gregory, wellness coordinator in the Student Health and Wellness Center, coordinated Longwood's entry in the contest with assistance from Longwood students Kendall Beebe, Leigh Cupitt and Max Duchaine. Beebe was an intern in the Wellness Center, and Duchaine was completing an independent study for Jeff Halliday, assistant professor of communication studies. Cupitt and Duchaine, who graduated in May 2011, as did Beebe, were communication studies majors with a concentration in mass media.

"It was a pleasure to work with Kendall, Max and Leigh, and this was a team effort," Gregory said. "Everyone involved in the video, including the students who volunteered to be the 'partiers' and the police officers, also are to be commended. This sort of teamwork is a good example of my professional belief that, as Dr. Ruth C. Browne (public health expert) has said, 'Creating a healthy community is a challenge that we all must address together. To be successful does require a village - we cannot do it alone.'"

Longwood University's student-developed PSA video highlights the consequences involved with alcohol abuse including a hazy encounter with police. Vote for the video here >> 

Halliday echoed those sentiments. "Max, Kendall and Leigh are to be commended for their hard work on this project," he said. "Being selected as a finalist is an honor and provides yet another example of how different departments and offices successfully work together here at Longwood. This effort is an extension of our dedication to developing citizen leaders. Students make a positive difference on our campus each day, and we hope this video does the same, raising awareness of the serious consequences of substance abuse. One night can indeed change a life, and I think that Max, Kendall and Leigh got that message across in a clear and creative manner."

Dr. Tim Pierson, vice president for student affairs, said the video contains a "powerful message and is a great example of a collaborative project by students."

The contest was open to any student at a Virginia public or private four-year or two-year college or university. Students could work in production teams of up to six people. The deadline for submissions was April 30.

"I continue to be amazed by the creativity, dedication, and leadership exemplified by Virginia's college students," Gov. Bob McDonnell said in announcing the finalists. "Each of these submissions is a testament to the unbelievable talent of of Virginia's students. It is our responsibility not only to vote on the merits of the three finalists, but to heed the warnings that lie within each of the PSAs and do what we can to help all of Virginia's students live, learn and grow in safe environments."

The contest, announced by Gov. McDonnell in late January, was devoted to promoting campus environments in which all of Virginia's college students can live, learn, and have fun. It was an opportunity for students to creatively address their roles as a member of a college campus community, engage their peers in a discussion of the type of atmosphere they want their community to have, and encourage students to help make Virginia's college campus communities safer, stronger, and better overall. The contest is similar to Project SafetyNetVA, a youth Internet safety contest that Gov. McDonnell launched when he was attorney general, in which students in grades 6-12 created televisions ads about Internet safety.