University releases educational video to improve student-town relations

BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 26, 2008 – Virginia Tech has produced a video titled "Moving Off Campus at Virginia Tech: Play by Play," designed to educate students about being a first-time renter and ease the transition between college and becoming a member of a civic community.

With a blend of humor, reality-TV, and sports commentary styles, the short film features student actors who illustrate the choices and challenges that all students face when they move off campus and out on their own. Students can learn about the resources offered in the Blacksburg community along with details about signing a lease, being a good neighbor, and dealing with laws and local regulations.

This is the first time the university has completed such an innovative project to address the needs of students as they leave campus housing and integrate into the town of Blacksburg and surrounding communities. The video was inspired by similar ones created by universities like Colorado State University.

“We realized that when students move out of the sheltered environment of the residence halls, it’s a new experience for them,” said Edward F.D. Spencer, associate vice president for the Division of Student Affairs at Virginia Tech. “They are often in a different town from the one they grew up in and are not aware of things obvious to folks who have lived here for years. We hope this video will help students think about all the challenges, opportunities, and decisions that they face.”

The 18-minute video is available for viewing online; DVD copies will be distributed to students at the Off Campus Housing Fair and will be available in the Virginia Tech Off Campus Housing Office. The video is also airing on WTOB, Blacksburg’s community access TV station, Wednesdays at 10 p.m. and Fridays at 11 a.m., on local channel 2 off campus, and local channel 16 on campus.

The video, produced by King Video Productions and made possible by a grant from the Virginia Tech Parents Fund, was a collaborative project among the Office of Student Programs, the Town/Gown Community Relations Committee of Blacksburg, the New River Valley Apartment Council, Rolland Moore West NBhd Network (Fort Collins, Colorado), the HHHunt Company, and Virginia Tech’s University Unions and Student Activities.