Those anxious about missing out on Penn’s countless campus events can soon thank SCUE for alleviating that fear.
The Student Committee on Undergraduate Education hopes to launch a preliminary version of OPenned, its new online video education project, by the end of the semester, with full publication and release soon after.
The service will aggregate selected speaking events at Penn and post them as videos online for students to see. SCUE will organize these videos into “tutorials,” in a TEDTalks style.
“Let’s say we make one about pharmaceuticals, and then we can have a talk from the law school and one from the medical school,” said SCUE chair and Engineering junior Michelle Ho.
The lectures and talks SCUE selects to be recorded will be guided by the themes of the tutorials. Planned tutorials include “Journalism and the Dissemination of Information,” “Food” and “Human Evolution.”
While SCUE itself has a limited number of cameras to do the first recordings, the plan is to expand coverage with the help of student groups. “We really want to encourage collaboration with other student groups, like the Undergraduate Advisory Boards,” Ho said.
Today, the SCUE committee in charge of OPenned, Intellectual Communities,consists of Project Head and Daily Pennsylvanian staff writer and College freshman Yolanda Chen, College freshman and member-at-large on SCUE Steering Laura Sorice, and Wharton and College junior Kevin Shia. The three of them meet frequently to brainstorm and discuss ideas for the project, but the rest of SCUE is also very involved.
“It’s not something that’s simple by any means. It’s taken a lot of tender, loving care from the entire body,” said Sorice.
The project began about two years ago, as a part of a larger program orchestrated by the Provost’s office, One University. “One U is way older than even me,” former SCUE chair Scott Dzialo said during his State of the School speech this year. The program aims to “break students out of their silos,” according to Dzialo, and contains initiatives like OPenned and Cross Currents, an inter-school teaching program.
Last October, the project faltered as PennApps Labs recommended to the Undergraduate Assembly that the project was not a viable endeavor.
However, Sorice said, “the project never really stopped,” and after submitting a new model, PennApps Labs and SCUE went back to the project.
“We’ve been working on this model all year, and it’s by no means brand new, so this is hopefully the final plan,” Sorice said.
Now, the program is finally gaining traction. “We’ve been through a number of iterations, and we feel that this model is the one to best serve Penn’s community,” Ho said.
Seven tutorials have already been organized, and the website, created and managed by PennApps Labs, will be finalized within the coming weeks.
“Basically what we’re doing is setting up a WordPress theme for SCUE that will let them curate the OPenned content and present it in as accessible a manner as possible,” said PennApps Labs Technical Lead, Engineering and College junior and former DP staff writer Kyle Hardgrave in an email.
Summarizing the hopes for the project, Ho said, “There are so many events that go on around campus that students just can’t attend because they’re busy … This way, students will get to see a lot more of what the school has to offer.”