Laurel Steinetz, a Phi Mu collegian at Baldwin Wallace University, stepped up as our video production intern to help create the two Halloween campaign videos and fulfill the vision of the Phi Mu Headquarters team. Rebecca Goode, Communications Coordinator, interviewed Laurel, via email, about her experience.
1. How has working on Phi Mu’s Halloween “I’m All In” campaign changed your perspective on the topic?
I have always been sensitive and respectful of cultural differences, but now I have a personal responsibility to stand up with others to address offensive Halloween costumes and theme parties. For example, during the time I was making the videos, I heard two of my friends talking about how they wanted to dress up as (culture withheld). Before my work on the videos, I would have just shrugged it off, thinking, “They just don’t get it.” Instead, I said something to the extent of, “That’s really offensive. How would you feel if someone’s Halloween costume mocked you?” After seeing how costumes actually do offend people, I knew I had to respond to the insensitivity. I think we all have the responsibility to stand with each other to avoid perpetuating stereotypes and hold people accountable for their actions.
2. What did you find was the most challenging task?
I think the most challenging task was conveying the message. When approached with this topic, I experienced that many people did not immediately identify with it. But I think that after seeing these videos, people will understand just how much it affects everyone. Dressing up as “this marginalized culture” or “that social identity” has a greater effect than we sometimes understand, but I think that ultimately the message is clear.
3. While working on this campaign, what was your experience like being involved and collaborating with Fraternity staff?
I had a really great experience with the Fraternity staff. We worked closely together on the video: I provided drafts of each video and then received detailed, constructive feedback. The Fraternity staff did a wonderful job of communicating their vision for the videos with me, but at the same time, let me take my ideas and run with them. I’m really grateful to have had this opportunity to work with Phi Mu Headquarters!
4. What is one key message that you will take away from this campaign?
We need to be respectful, because our actions have impact on others. We don’t want something as seemingly innocent as Halloween costumes to be offensive and hurtful to anyone.
5. How do you think people will respond to the campaign? And why?
I think people will respond to this campaign positively. I imagine someone saying, “I never thought of it like that.” Or, “The video makes a good point that our Halloween costumes and theme parties are a reflection on our organizations.” I hope people will take this campaign to heart, because it’s important–our individual actions should represent our values as a whole, not one’s own insensitivity or disrespect.