I was recently interviewed by the Review about the T-shirt contest we're hosting; I thought the story was going to focus on the contest, but it seemed to focus more on anti-Fearless stuff. Alas.
Since the interview was done over email, I have the transcript, which I thought I'd share here in the hopes of generating some positive energy around the contest (my original intention, as you'll see below).
Is this an annual contest?
This is the first time we've sponsored a contest to design the t-shirt that is sent to admitted students, but it is our hope that it will be successful and become an annual event, perhaps even seen as a tradition someday.
What is the purpose of changing the design (each year, if that's the case)?
We love the idea that current members of the Oberlin community (i.e. students or alums) will connect with future Obies through their creativity. Changing the design each year will increase the opportunities for this to happen, and it will also ensure that each incoming class will have its own special design.
From your perspective, what is the purpose of mailing out these t-shirts to admitted students?
It's really just a nice way for admitted students to share their excitement about Oberlin, and celebrate the accomplishment of having been admitted.
What advice would you give to those students who are competing in this contest?
First, it just has to be a great t-shirt - i.e., think hard about what you would want to wear if you were a senior in high school. We want admitted students to like these so much that they wear them out before they even get to campus. Second, it should represent the Oberlin culture (or some facet of the Oberlin culture) accurately - ideally in a positive way. And perhaps most importantly, it should be accessible to those who don't have the intimate knowledge of Oberlin that you do - you don't want your design to totally confuse people or reference an inside joke that they won't understand.
In what way would you like this year's t-shirt to be different from those in years past?
I guess I'm just looking for a design that feels really organic - something designed by someone who knows Oberlin intimately, in a way that can only come from experience. I think the ideal design will come from someone whose creative process is fueled, at least in part, by his or her pride in the place. When I was a high school student, that's definitely what would have resonated most with me.
And there you have it. I look forward to seeing all of your entries!