In an effort to both entice prospective students to UR and inculcate pride in students and alumni in UR as an institution, the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid launched a music video on Wednesday, March 7 that was executed from start to finish entirely by UR staff and students.
The music video, which features the a cappella music of UR’s Midnight Ramblers, is set to the tune of “Remember the Name” by Fort Minor. As of press time, the video had over 25,000 views.
Admissions counselor Michael Shea ’09 W ’11 wrote the original lyrics, the chorus of which goes: “This is 20 percent clusters, limitless core/dedicated to campus, sports and clubs galore/80 percent research, global acclaim/and 100 percent reason you Remember oUR Name.”
“The goal is to present UR as a place where creativity exists in abundance and that captures the enthusiasm of everything here,” Satyajit Dattagupta, director of enrollment communications, who is the mastermind behind the idea, originally proposed early this fall, said.
“It showcases everything about UR,” he said, describing the energy of the video as “addictive.”
“You can see what UR is all about in three minutes and 40 seconds.”
Dattagupta added that having a rap was a relatively novel concept in terms of the recent spate of colleges writing music videos as promotional tools in recent years. UR’s music video is also unique in the fact that it is not a “lib dub,” a tactic many other universities employed, but has both lyrics, filming and music entirely by UR students and faculty.
Dattagupta brought his idea to Shea, who said that in composing the lyrics he thought about everything that “captures the energy of UR” and would appeal to three different groups of people: students who will watch the video to feel a greater sense of pride and connection to UR, prospective students who will watch it and hopefully think that UR is a place where they could fit in and alumni who can watch the video and reflect with pride on their alma mater.
“There was no deadline,” Shea said of the process for composing the lyrics. “I put it together as it came to me. We thought of it as something that would either be a great idea or nothing.”
Dattagupta said that Admissions will be working with UR Communications to promote the video and will include it in communications with prospective students, but is otherwise not planning extensive publicity for the project.
UR videographer Chris Niswonger, who shot all the footage used in the video — which spans nearly every corner of campus from the Eastman Quadrangle to the old Rochester subway tunnels — described the process as “amazing.”
The Ramblers’ singing was shot in two intense, 12-hour days this February.
“The energy was just exploding,” Niswonger said of the process. “Everyone was super pumped.”
“We really just want students to love that they’re here,” he added.
General Manager of the Ramblers and senior Noah Berg said that the fact that Admissions chose the Ramblers as the group to represent UR “is pretty much the greatest compliment we can receive.”
“Of all the things I’ve recorded on, this was by far the most fun,” Berg said. “Not every day do we attempt to do a rap song, and I don’t think we’ve ever tried at something like Fort Minor, so this took us to a whole new level.”
Berg, who arranged, recorded, edited, mixed and mastered the song for the Ramblers, said that coming up with the appropriate demeanor for the group was a challenge, given that they had to emulate an “angry rap song” and yet come across as “nice people you could see yourself being around for four years.”
Yet, he said, nothing about the recording process was difficult.
“It was an exhilarating process, and we were all having so much fun throughout,” he said. “We hope that in some way this helps our University, to which we owe everything.”
SA President and senior Bradley Halpern said Wednesday that the video is “certainly building a lot of hype on campus.”
“Most people seem to find it humorous and relatable, though I have heard concerns that the piece does not portray the diversity of our institution,” Halpern said. “I think it is important to realize that this was an admissions ‘side project,’ for fun, highlighting a prominent and lively campus group that just happens to be all male. Admissions has made several other videos and together they portray a more holistic view of UR. I appreciate the creative production on this work and find it evident that admissions had no motive other than showing the kind of enthusiasm we have here.”
Buletti is a member of the class of 2013.