GV alumni association livestreams lip-sync to connect with alums

The Fairy Tale Hero’s group performed at the lip sync concert on Oct. 21 in Allendale, MI as one of the activites available to students during homecoming week.

Kasey Garvelink

The Fairy Tale Hero’s group performed at the lip sync concert on Oct. 21 in Allendale, MI as one of the activites available to students during homecoming week.

Meghan McBrady

As part of a new initiative taken by Grand Valley State University, the alumni relations and development teams have begun live-streaming events to former GVSU students across the globe.

The first live-stream was the lip-sync competition during homecoming week in October. The GVSU Alumni Association gave graduated GVSU students the opportunity to interact, watch and be part of the singing and dancing competition on campus even when they were miles away.

Alexis Rangel, the assistant director of alumni relations, indicated that the experiment with the alumni development team was innovative partnership between both departments to keep the alumni who are currently in and out of the U.S. connected with their Laker roots.

“This is the first time that we have ever done a live-stream on video and so we were pretty excited and nervous to test it out,” Rangel said. “We collaborated with the web team and the Office of Student Life to make this a reality, as we have been brainstorming this for a while and we never thought we had the technology to do it until we talked to the web team and saw that we can make this an interactive experience.”

Rangel also noted that allowing the users to vote on who they considered to be the best team added excitement to the event.

It was the Greek alumni at GVSU who were the most active participants and used the live-stream to its full extent.

“We look for opportunities that make sense and with lip-sync it was a perfect opportunity, as it is a large event, to make it interactive for those alums who cannot make it back to campus,” she said. “It did seem from social media excitement from Twitter and Facebook that a lot of it was from Greek life. Lip-sync is so popular among Greek organizations, so I think it was just exciting for the Greek alums to support their fraternities or sororities, who are ultimately their families, and give them that push to help them win.”

While there are no an initial plans for further live-streaming events, Rangel said the Alumni Association hopes to do more events like live-streaming the lip-sync competition and keep the alumni connected to the university, no matter where they are.

She added that if any of the alumni want a particular event filmed, they should email or call alumni relations at the Alumni House on the Allendale Campus.

PJ Sallans, a 2015 GVSU alum and current student at the University of Michigan school of dentistry, said she appreciates that the GVSU Alumni Association is still active with its former students. Work needs to be done in regard to the syncing program, she said, but she enjoyed reminiscing and seeing current students be active on campus.

“I thought it was a great idea, especially the chat, as it was great to see alum talking,” Sallans said. “I would say it was basically 100 percent alum from Greek life and that the only bad thing was that the lag was terrible sometimes. It would show a paused image with choppy music and then speed it up super fast, kind of like it was fast-forwarding until it caught up to where it was live. That was super annoying, but overall I thought it was great.”

For more information about the GVSU Alumni Association, visit www.gvsu.edu/alumni/alumni-association-2.htm.