SOJC Majors Night


Each Fall, the University of Oregon's School of Journalism and Communication holds a Major's Night event to showcase the various programs that it offers: Journalism, Advertising, Public Relations, and Media Studies. The event is targeted at Freshman and other undeclared students who might want to pursue a degree in the SOJC.

Typically, the Media Studies major has been underrepresented not only at this event, but within the school as a whole. Many students are unaware of what Media Studies is, or that the program even exists in the first place. This year, we wanted to change this and promote the Media Studies program for once. 

I worked with Meg Rodgers, another Media Studies student, and Peter Alilunas, professor and director of the Media Studies program. We came up with a way for Media Studies to be present at this event, but while still remaining low-key and refined. Our goal was to create a sense of mystery so that students would be curious and want to learn more specific details about Media Studies and what it entails.

Meg came up with the tagline, "Break the Hegemony" and I designed these stickers to be handed out at the event. I wanted the design to have a sense of challenging authority and thinking critically about the institutions that surround us, which is why I chose to go with the brick wall design. 

I also created a short video that featured this "Break the Hegemony" tagline that was used at the event. I wanted the video to feel like an old-fashioned film, while also being slightly mysterious. I chose to utilize the SMPTE standard film leader to evoke the sense of traditional cinema, paired with a Stranger Things style title to contrast the new and the old. Following that, the video is just about 20 seconds of the "Break the Hegemony" tagline slowly fading in. This is followed by a one-second image of two cultural mastheads (Karl Marx and Kim Kardashian) and a single frame filled with the text "RATS." This callback to the 2000 George W Bush campaign ad alludes to contemporary media issues, while the rapid pace and disjointed editing creates a sense of mystery.

We used an RF modulator to play this video on an old black and white television set. The laptop playing the video was hidden beneath the table so that only the TV was visible. The video was simply looping on the TV with little explanation in order to draw people to the table to come and find out more. 

Ultimately, these projects were incredibly successful. We had many students visit the table and ask about the Media Studies program, approximately 20 students in the informational presentation, and many more sign up online for more information. 

Ben Pettis