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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

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Student Affairs holding #BobcatExperience Contest

Winner will address OHIO’s Class of 2018

The Ohio University family is eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Class of 2018 and is calling on all current Bobcats to join in welcoming OHIO’s newest students to campus.

Ohio University’s Division of Student Affairs is hosting the second annual “#BobcatExperience Contest” and is asking OHIO’s sophomores, juniors and seniors to share what the Bobcat Experience means to them. The Bobcat who submits the winning entry will speak at the President’s Convocation for First-Year Students on Sunday, Aug. 24, at the Convocation Center.

To enter the contest, students are asked to write about, photograph, videotape or use whatever creative means they wish to convey what the Bobcat Experience means to them. Entries should be submitted to the Division of Student Affairs via Twitter using #BobcatExperience or by e-mailing studentaffairs@ohio.edu. For a more complete and lively description of the contest, check out this YouTube video from the Division of Student Affairs, complete with humorous outtakes.

Contest entries are due by July 29, and the winner will be announced Aug. 1. Vice President for Student Affairs Ryan Lombardi and Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones will serve as the contest’s judges.

When asked what the judges are looking for in a winning entry, Lombardi said, “We don’t go into it with a prescribed set of criteria. Originality is important, and we really want to get a sense of what the message is. Being genuine is important to us too, and we really want entries that reflect the spirit of Ohio University.

“We also want students to keep in mind the context of the contest,” Lombardi added. “The winning student’s speech will be delivered on the eve of first-year students’ first day of classes. All those things are factors we will think about when judging this contest.”

Lombardi noted that those entering the contest are vying for the opportunity to speak at the President’s Convocation for First-Year Students and that the contest entries aren’t the actual speeches that will be delivered at the event. The Division of Student Affairs will assist the contest winner in drafting a speech for the President’s Convocation for First-Year Students, providing them with tips and helping them to rehearse for the big event.

Katie Thoburn, who at the time was a junior in the Patton College of Education, won the contest last year. For her speech at the President’s Convocation for First-Year Students, Thoburn compiled an open letter to the first-year students based on advice she solicited from her fellow Bobcats.

In fact, that spirit of engaging the University’s student body and passing on Bobcat advice was the reason the Division of Student Affairs decided to hold this contest. Prior to last year, the chairperson of the University’s Honor Council was the student who addressed incoming Bobcats at the President’s Convocation for First-Year Students.

“We just thought that in the spirit of giving all students a chance to share their ideas we would bring this opportunity down to the ground level,” Lombardi explained. “We want to engage more students and to have our students share that Bobcat advice with the newest members of our community.”