Beginning in August of 2011, the University of North Texas’ Housing channel provided Media Arts students within the Living Learning Community, formerly known as “REAL Community,” with the opportunity to gain experience to kick-start their careers as well as their college experience.
By giving them the opportunity to write, act, direct, produce, and edit content for the first UNT Housing YouTube series, “720,” Senior Philosophy major Erin Dickinson and Master of Fine Arts Graduate student Sergio Almendariz not only found a place to connect and be themselves, but they also found an opportunity to get paid doing what they love to do.
“I really got to find myself and see what I wanted to be throughout this entire experience. I may not have found that if it wasn’t for the Living Learning Community and being in 720,” Erin, who is now the Producer for the YouTube channel said.
The Living Learning Communities were put in place with the vision that they would “enhance students’ education at the University of North Texas by creating learning opportunities outside of the classroom,” according to the University of North Texas’ Housing website.
“We’re all about student success. The goal is to turn student housing into another venue for student success,” Coordinator for UNT Housing Marketing Mark Mcleod said as he came to check on his employees, Erin and Sergio, before they began filming for the day.
The UNT offers 12 different Living-Learning Communities that are all housed in Kerr Hall. Students have the ability to choose between the Art, Business, Health, Kinesiology, Jazz, Journalism, Merchandising/Hospitality, Music, STEM, Service, and Media Arts.
“As an RA, one of the first activities I have my residents do is to find at least three people living in the Living-Learning community that are in the same class as you,” Education Living Learning Community Resident Assistant Jaqueline Kennedy said.
Kennedy expressed that she believes Living-Learning communities are a great way to meet people who are also share the same career goals and may potentially share the same interests as she was being filmed for the latest UNT Housing YouTube video.
After volunteering for the YouTube formerly known as “720,” Erin and Sergio as well as as a team of other students have created their own show called “The In’s and Out’s” which creates videos on UNT’s campus that meet the needs of students.
In the near future “The In’s and Out’s” will be producing UNT residence hall virtual tour videos for prospective residents, a trash and recycling video, and a video series mirroring HBO’s “True Detective.”
These videos are all written by a student whose experience in the Media Arts Living-Learning community ultimately lead him to continue his education in by pursuing his Master in Fine Arts at the university.
“Freshman year I was just one of the writers, and by the end of freshman year I was the head writer and coordinating all the writers,” Head Writer for UNT Housing YouTube Sergio Almendariz said.
The UNT Living-Learning Community opened doors for him that have guided his career to this day and made an impact that encouraged him to pursue an advanced degree according to Sergio.
To apply to have an experience in a Living-Learning Community like Erin, Jaqueline, and Sergio, select the Living-Learning Community option on the Application Type step of the UNT Housing application.
Coordinator – Housing Marketing