Advocacy Project


I chose the topic of hazing, because in the past few years there has been numerous instances of high school and college hazing.  Many people are unaware of the facts about hazing and are unclear about how many people are effected.  We started by bringing awareness to the Rose-Hulman community but eventually wanted to bring awareness to middle schoolers, high schoolers, college students and parents across the nation to help decrease the amount of acts of hazing. By introducing younger children such as middle schoolers we can show them how hazing is bad and why it should not be tolerated.  For high schoolers and parents our project will just help raise awareness and aid to less incidents.  We have chosen to make multiple sorts of media such as memes, flash videos, a Twitter hashtag, and infographics to accommodate all audiences.  Similar to what Jenkin’s has to say about civic media, “we seek to link the spread of material with the social needs of online communities” and how Shirky talks about civic value being media created by participants for society as a whole, we are trying to make multiple sorts of media to help further benefit the lives of other in society by raising awareness of hazing.

Because we made different kinds of media our content will be easier to spread, giving that some may be more appealing to others.  Particularly I think that the infographic and the flash video will be the most appropriate for our audience.  The infographic is easy to read, follow, and clearly illustrates the facts about hazing and how many people it affects.  The infographic is effective because it does not take a long time for viewers to view it.  Also the video lightens the severity of the topic and allows the viewers to see why hazing is wrong in an obvious and comical way.  We decided to do the infographic, because it would be easy to understand, while the video would be less awkward to watch if it was funny.

Our project is spreadable because we put media online in many different atmospheres (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube), allowing for more users to potentially see it.  The fact that our topic hits on multiple things in Maria Konnikova’s article, The six Things That Make Stories Go Viral Will Amaze, and Maybe Infuriate, You, lets us believe we are headed in the right direction.  For example we hit on, ” social currency—something that makes people feel that they’re not only smart but in the know”, making people want to share the topic so they look good for their friends by supporting a good cause.  Also, “Content should have an ethical appeal, an emotional appeal, or a logical appeal” which ours does.  Hazing is wrong and the more people that we can get to believe that and spread the word about it, the less it will happen.  From the introduction in Jenkin’s book he talks about spreadability meaning, ““Spreadability” refers to the technical resources that make it easier to circulate some kinds of content than others… the attributes of a media text that might appeal to a community’s motivation for sharing material…”(4) By us using Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, we are making it easier for the content of our message to spread, we are putting our topic out there for whatever mediums appeal to the viewers.

Finally I am most proud that the things we made have been liked, shared, retweeted, and have had a couple hundred views by people all over Rose-Hulman’s campus.  The fact that we made infographics, videos, and memes that can potentially save others from being hazed in the future makes me happy. I have learned that it is not too hard to make something that could potentially go viral.  Just by using a little bit of your spare time you can be able to create something that will affect other’s lives.


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