As Lina Yeh debated who to invite to her senior formal at the College of William and Mary, she found herself reciting that line often uttered by single girls in small college towns: “Gosh, there are no guys at this school.” So Yeh set her sights outside of Williamsburg.
“And then it dawned on me,” she said. “Jeremy Lin.”
But how does a Virginia college student attract the attention of the New York Knicks point guard, who has quickly vaulted to fame and spurred Linsanity?
Her plan: Film a You Tube video. Watch it spread through Twitter and Facebook. Wait for Lin’s phone call.
With the help of her friends, professors, the campus mascot and even the university president, Yeh filmed a four-and-a-half-minute video that gives Lin a tongue-in-cheek tour of Williamsburg (including Wawa and crickets chirping at the local bars at midnight on a Friday) and humorously lists reasons why he should be her date (like how she got an A in economics).
“A’s are tough to get at William and Mary,” an economics professor says in the video. “Way tougher than at Harvard.”
After more than two weeks of work, the video was completed. Yeh posted it on You Tube on Sunday, and by Thursday morning it had been viewed more than 55,000 times.
Nowadays, university communications offices spend a lot of time brainstorming ways to create light-hearted videos showcasing campus that can go viral and attract easy, inexpensive attention. But sometimes that happens without much thinking or planning — like last year, when someone took a video of George Washington University President Steven Knapp dancing, added the song “Shots,” and watched the masterpiece go viral.
Usually public relations offices embrace these videos (as long as they don’t promote underage drinking or any nefarious activities) because they show an unfiltered look at the university.
The Lin proposal video, which I heard about from William and Mary’s press office, provides an off-beat tour of campus and popular student hangouts. It also features professors who seem friendly and approachable, a star women’s basketball player and even the university president, Taylor Reveley, who giggles as he invites Lin to visit campus.
As for the senior dance, which is scheduled for May 11, the university says that Yeh has yet to hear from Lin.