StoryCube project aims to preserve stories about CSUN

Jessica Estrada

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The drab looking box in the bookstore will transform into a recording booth for preserving the stories of all members of the campus community through the CSUN StoryCube.

The StoryCube will offer CSUN students, faculty and staff an opportunity to share their stories and listen to those of others.

The CSUN StoryCube will make its debut on campus April 26 and will remain open through May 6 and also during commencement week, May 24 through 26.

The goal of the project is to gather a positive recollection of experiences of those who have attended CSUN, said Cynthia Rawitch, associate vice president of the Office of Undergraduate Studies.

“The result will be a wide range of responses depending whether the person is a student or faculty and whether they attended CSUN in the 1960s or in the 2000s,” Rawitch added.

Inside the booth will be equipment set up to record audio and video of the stories that students, faculty and staff have to share.

Participants can answer questions like: what your happiest moment is, biggest obstacle and proudest moments at CSUN and how CSUN has changed their life.

Brennis Lucero’Wagoner, interim director of the Office of Undergraduate Studies who is in charge of putting the project together, said she is excited about preserving CSUN history through unique stories of CSUN students and faculty. It is a great opportunity and the stories would have not been able to be gathered in any other method, Lucero’Wagoner said.

“It is a fun and beneficial project that will share what we have learned with the general public,” Rawitch said.

The project is modeled after the successful ‘StoryCorps’ program, which provided thousands of people across the nation a way to record their personal stories.

Appointments can be made to reserve the recording booth through the StoryCube website. Walk-ins will also be accepted but there is no guarantee the booth will be available.

Students from the CTVA department will help with the video and audio recording of the project. At the close of the project the students will edit the videos into two to three minute segments, similar to YouTube videos, which will be featured on the StoryCube website, Lucero’Wagoner said.

The entire unedited footage will be archived on CSUN Scholarworks, Lucero’Wagoner added.

The interview can be done  two different ways. One way is by bringing a friend so that one will be the interviewer and feed the questions and the other person can be the storyteller. Or the alternative is going into the booth alone to tell a story.

Once the recording session is over, participants will receive a CD with their audio recording.

As an alumna, Lucero’Wagoner said, she will also contribute a story about her mother who earned her bachelors’ degree at CSUN at the age of 69 and her master’s degree at 73.

“She accomplished her dream at CSUN,” she said.

Rawitch will also share her experience as a faculty member and the recovery of the university after the earthquake.

Professor Jim Kelley from the Art Department is designing a printed banner that will cover the booth like a skin. Kelley aims to design the booth to visually convey what the project is about, along with touches of color.

CTVA Professor Michael Hoggan will be helping with the technical aspects of the project.

The Story Cube will also return sometime in the fall for those who missed their chance to share their stories.