School of Communications celebration adopts ‘Count On Me’ as theme 

Organized by the school’s diversity committee, the end-of-semester unity event brought together students, faculty and staff for an afternoon of fun before finals week begins.

In an effort to bring its students, faculty and staff together after a stressful fall term, the School of Communications held an end-of-semester celebration on Dec. 9. The school’s diversity committee led the coordination of the two-hour event in Snow Family Grand Atrium. 
It’s likely pop sensation Bruno Mars himself wouldn’t have received an ovation as nice as the one faculty and staff members got at the School of Communications’ end-of-semster celebration.

On Dec. 9, the school hosted a two-hour gathering in Snow Family Grand Atrium to “show our love, appreciation and support” for communications students. While attendees enjoyed good conversation, drinks and food — man, the meatballs went fast! — the celebration’s centerpiece was a three-minute video of faculty and staff lip-syncing to Mars’ song “Count On Me.”

Celebration photos are available on the School of Communications’ Flickr page.

<p>Kenn Gaither, professor and associate dean in the School of Communications, was among the faculty and staff to partake in the &ldquo;Count On Me&rdquo; remake.</p>
​The school’s eight-person diversity committee, led by Assistant Professor Ahmed Fadaam, organized the event to provide an opportunity for the school’s community to come together following a stressful semester. Other committee members include Associate Professors Lee Bush and Naeemah Clark, Assistant Professors Max Negin, Sana Haq and Doug Kass, Instructor Jonathan Jones and Lecturer Kelly Furnas.

Paige Pauroso &rsquo;17 and Audrey Engelman &rsquo;17 got a good laugh out of the Bruno Mars remake.
​Fadaam, who has served on the diversity committee on several occasions, noted that in years past the committee focused on students as groups, often broken out by gender, nationality, race and religion.

“This semester, and especially with the difficult times the country has experienced in the last few months, we thought we should try something else,” said Fadaam. “We thought that instead of looking at the students as groups, we’d look at them as one. Then we looked at how we should unite everyone.”

During a committee meeting this fall, Bush brought forward the idea of a school-wide party, and it was widely supported. Haq then proposed a faculty video and researched possibilities, eventually settling on “Count On Me,” Fadaam said. Haq then organized the logistics of the video project.

“This idea is all about bringing the students together,” Fadaam said. “And the song was chosen because it’s the faculty saying to our students that, ‘we’d be there for you. And you can count on us.’”