Division of General Studies Video Contest

Calling all undergrads!  The Division of General Studies is seeking your creative video submissions.  The winner will receive a $500 gift card to the Illini Union Bookstore.



In August 2013, the Division of General Studies will host a new class of almost 1,700 new undeclared freshmen at a Welcome Days event at Foellinger Auditorium. As part of the program, we plan to feature one or more short, student-made videos promoting the Illinois experience.


Video submissions should:

  • Connect new freshmen to the campus and/or community
  • Illustrate or explain an experience many new freshmen will encounter
  • Make some reference to the undeclared experience at Illinois
  • In some way, relate to one of the elements of the DGS slogan “Explore. Discover. Succeed.”


What do we mean by “an experience many new freshmen might encounter”?

As freshmen, there are many new things to learn and understand. This is your chance to teach someone else what you learned.  You are encouraged to think outside the ordinary, consider meaningful questions, and explore what would be truly helpful to new undeclared students coming to campus. Examples include (but are not limited to):

  • Getting to know your instructors
  • Going to your first class
  • Navigating the dining halls
  • Connect with your advisor
  • Getting good grades
  • Making friends
  • Getting along with your roommate
  • Getting around safely on campus
  • Avoiding the Freshman 15
  • Be creative – come up with your own topic!



  • Generate ideas.  Topics can be anything related to student life, whether academic, social, personal, community-oriented, etc.   You are encouraged to learn more about the DGS experience by visiting http://www.dgs.illinois.edu.


  • Be creative.  Incorporate clever, interesting, unique, or funny elements to your video.  Winning videos will be shared with a large audience of new Illinois freshmen, so think of how you would want to address a topic… as a former freshman on campus, you know your audience!


  • The final video should be 2-4 minutes in length.



  • Submissions will only be accepted from current Illinois undergraduate students.
  • All undergraduate students are eligible to participate; no previous experience with the Division of General Studies is required.
  • Previous video-making experience is not required.
  • Submission deadline is Wednesday, May 1st, at 11:59 p.m.
  • Video submissions will be accepted from individuals or groups.   If a group is selected as the winning entry, the prize will be split evenly between all group members.
  • All submissions, including the winning submission, may be used for future DGS events.



  • Shooting. Stick with the following file formats: AVI, MPEG, MPG, MOV, or WMV.


  • Editing. There is no need to purchase video editing software. Free software should already be installed on your computer or available for download:


  • Movie Maker for Windows 7 or Vista users:




  • iMovie for Mac users:



  • Uploading. Once completed, you will need to upload your video to YouTube.   To become a registered user of the YouTube site, individuals must register for an account and agree to the YouTube site’s Terms of Service. There is no fee to become a registered user.  Please become familiar with YouTube copyright tips: http://www.youtube.com/t/howto_copyright.


  • Submitting.  By submitting your video to sdwatson@illinois.edu with the email subject line “DGS video contest”, your entry becomes final and you agree that your video may be used for future DGS events . In the body of the message please include the following information: 


Full Name and UIN (for group submissions, please provide name and UIN for each group member)

Phone number for main point of contact

YouTube link to your video