Every September the Ham Channel has had the opportunity to address the incoming freshman class – until now. This year, the Class of 2006 video, written and produced by students at the Ham Channel, was thrown out moments before it was to be shown this fall at freshman orientation.

The video focused on two college freshman who are dropped off on the first day of school and thrown into college life. However, certain content limited it from being shown.

“It was a great video and wonderfully made,” commented Deidre Eller, director of First Year Programs and Orientation, who made the final decision not to show the video, “it just had some sexual references I didn’t feel were appropriate.”

Melissa Witkowski, ’04, who was involved with the video, was told that the video would not be played for a few reasons.

“We were told that it was because the people in charge of Freshman Orientation did not approve of basically three things: a middle finger reference, a sexual innuendo and one particular homosexual reference,” Witkowski said.

According to Pat Tobin,’03, “The only thing I could even see being deemed inappropriate in the video was a scene where someone was ‘given the bird’.”

Perhaps most surprised by the decision was writer/director Ryan McCre,’03. Both he and Tobin arrived on campus Aug. 7 to begin work on the project, which had been proposed to him in the spring. “I agreed to do the project understanding that if I worked hard on it and produced a good product, it would be shown,” said McCree. “I wrote the script in the summer then spent a full week shooting and another week editing. It was a huge project.”

Sarah Courtney, ’03, an actor in the film, thought that this year, the Ham Channel was just trying to do something more creative than past years.

“In the past these videos for the freshman had been educational, informative and outdated,” said Courtney. “This year the advisors approached us and asked the Ham Channel to create something different.”

Other students, including the freshman, were equally as shocked. “It doesn’t make sense,” said Allie Joseph, ’06. “They said we couldn’t see the video because there was sexual content, but in the same breath they told us to watch the Theatre Fairfield improv show, which was full of sexual references.”

“We aren’t children,” said Tobin. “College students see these things everyday.”

Freshman can still catch the video on the Ham Channel. It is being showed on regular rotation.

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