As part of its weeklong orientation to life at Harvard College, the Class of 2008 caught the premiere screening of “Empowering You,” a new video produced jointly by Harvard College and Harvard University Health Services, Sunday night (Sept. 12).
Created to introduce first-years to resources that can help them “be well, be safe, be part of your community,” the video and companion Web site and
booklet address mental health and wellness, safety on Harvard’s urban campus, alcohol abuse, relationships and sexuality, diversity, academic pressures, and students’ popular misconception that they are the Admission Office’s “mistake.” Replacing previous years’ classwide assemblies that delivered similar information via a parade of administrative talking heads, “Empowering You” features a wide range of voices, from doctors and deans to fellow students. First-years watched the video in small groups with their proctors and followed it with conversation.
“They seemed to be much more engaged” than in previous years, says Assistant Dean of Freshmen Lesley Nye Barth, one of the project’s co-producers.
– Beth Potier