New Thinking: A Virtual Environment

By Brittney Cooper, March 23, 2021
Brittney Cooper (They/She), Cinema and Photography B.S. '23

Blog posting written by Brittney Cooper (They/She), Cinema and Photography with Minors in Gender Studies and Honors Interdisciplinary Studies, '23, FLEFF Intern, Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania

Attendance, although accessible, holds muted enthusiasm. Everything being online should mean students would want to participate, right?

Across campus, online student events have a small attendance count. Hours spent on Zoom University creates student zombies that would rather rest their eyes than play Zoom bingo with their RA and dorm-mates.

My friend, enthusiastic and full of fire, was on the receiving end of the dead tired students. Over the summer, he was given the opportunity to produce a student-oriented virtual film festival at Ithaca College called Bo Nitzor. The plan was for Ithaca students to submit a self-made film around a specific topic and three winners would be chosen. 

It was after submissions opened when a problem arose. Students were drained from attending Zoom University for hours upon hours each day. Classes were online, assignments were online, and socializing was online. Technology, though students are expected to love it, sucked the enthusiasm and drive out of our bodies and left us as empty shells.

So, Bo Nitzor was open to college students nationally to gain more submissions. It was a successful first-time small student-run festival, although I do not have a lot of experience on what the textbooks would consider successful or not. 

I do not mean to say all film festivals will be unsuccessful, as internationally known festivals are thriving. Instead, I am suggesting that accessibility, for students, does not mean students will attend. 

We do not have to walk to our classes, but we are still exhausted by them. We do not have to change our pajamas for class, but we are still dragging ourselves out of bed.

Students are adept with technology, and therefore, we should want to attend virtual events. Yet, virtual accessibility does not directly equate to a higher desire to attend