Students team up in effort to bring Al Roker to UC


Ben Mehic, Managing News Editor


Unless they’re a part of a nationally recognized blunder, most weathermen typically fly under the radar. But Al Roker, the “Today” show weatherman, has built a distinguished brand for himself.

Known for his bald head and dynamic smile, Roker is hitting the road for his third annual Rokerthon – a nationwide tour sending him to various schools with hopes of breaking world records. Utica College students Marissa Filletti and Elliott Coleman are the ones spearheading the campaign to bring Roker to the UC campus.

To enter the contest, students must create a video, essentially enticing Roker to come to their school.

Filletti was informed about Rokerthon by Christine Leogrande, her supervisor. Knowing that more popular schools would be submitting videos, Filletti believes UC stands out due to its school spirit.

“We have great school spirit here,” Filletti said. “It really wasn’t hard to come up with the things I wanted to touch on because so many great things have been happening here in the last few years.”

Filletti sifted through the college’s video archive, shot original footage alongside Coleman with narration and edited the piece that was shared on Facebook. While the actual recording with Coleman only took about an hour to complete, Filletti said it took roughly a week to finish the editing process because she wanted to make sure the video would show Roker exactly what the school and campus has to offer.

“We have been able to consistently grow our athletic, academic and extra-curricular programs while also cutting tuition costs,” said Filletti about what separates UC from other schools. “That’s what sets us apart and that’s what I knew would make Al give UC a serious look to be a Rokerthon destination.”

The Facebook video has over 600 shares and more than 38,000 views. Neither Filletti nor Coleman expected that sort of response, with Coleman anticipating about 5,000 views.

“I was extremely surprised when I saw how fast it blew up,” Coleman said.

Both Filletti and Coleman said they are fans of Roker’s work and his potential appearance on campus would help grow the small community, giving it some well-deserved exposure.

“The video got so much great feedback and I’m so proud to have had the opportunity to put it together,” Filletti said. “It would be so exciting if [Roker] visited UC.”