Student to create a campus-wide response toward Coca-Cola commercial backlash

A student intern with the SUNY Buffalo State Coalition Building Team is creating a campus-wide video response toward the backlash of Coca-Cola’s “America the Beautiful” Super-Bowl commercial.

Jade Mills, a senior sociology student, is organizing a two-part response for the project. It also doubles as her senior project for her major.

Mills plans to create a video featuring students’ creative segments on diversity through dance, spoken word and two-dimensional art.

The focus of Mills’ video will be to highlight student responses to the backlash on a campus that is built on diversity.

“When I proposed my plan I felt like that a lot of times people have a lot to say but don’t have any outlet to say it,” Mills said.

Gail Wells, the director of the Coalition, is advising Mills on the project after she saw the response to the commercial on Facebook.

The Coalition Building Team, formed fall 2007, is a group certified to offer “welcoming diversity” and “prejudice reduction” workshops for students, primarily through the Volunteer and Service-Learning Program.

The response to the commercial was appalling to Wells, who has always seen Buffalo State students respond well to diversity, even more than other young people.

Wells thought the student opinions on the commercial, and diversity in general, should be heard.

“I think assumptions shouldn’t be made that everyone agrees with this new vision of America,” Wells said, “especially with the facts that we have major immigration issues and people with different sexual orientations are still struggling to have their rights upheld.”

Celine Jamieson, a health and wellness junior with a background in audio and visual techniques is helping Wells and Mills with the technical aspects of the project.

“I feel it is important to connect with people and understand where they are coming from,” Jamieson said. “Diversity is very important in my life and the “America the Beautiful” ad really portrays how diverse America is.”

The commercial shows how beautiful diversity can be and how it makes America a beautiful place to be, she said.

The project is currently still looking for others with a background in media production to help them create the video, which will answer how Buffalo State students feel about how diversity effects them, how they interact with diversity everyday, or a personal statement about what it means to them.

Submissions for the student response video must be under two minutes long but any types of creative statements are being accepted. Mills is also willing to schedule a time to come film students who may not have access to video equipment.

Mills is also working with the campus to organize a showing and discussion of the VH1 documentary “The Tanning of America: The Nature of Hip-Hop.” It will play during a daylong event on March 14, in the Assembly Hall, from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.

For more information from Jade Mills, or submissions, contact [email protected]

Email: [email protected]