“Do you regularly orgasm during sex?”
This is one of the questions that sophomore Jillian Vordick asked students on campus for Pit Perspectives: a student-led podcast that she created.
The group has organized outside the Pit since the beginning of the fall 2021 semester. Their goal is to capture the anonymous and candid opinions of students on campus.
The group can be seen in the Pit twice a week with a social topic ready for willing students to discuss, such as sex education, Greek life, censorship, Pit preaching and more.
“So even if we're not fostering a live discussion between students, it allows people to compare their own perspectives to other perspectives that they would otherwise never hear and never even know existed,” Vordick said.
The idea for the group began after Vordick realized that students tend to solidify their opinions with like-minded friends rather than developing new perspectives.
Junior Macy Goodson, the recording producer, said that the podcast works against the tendency of students to find their own “bubble.”
“But really, there's so many people here," she said. "And there's so many different perspectives — that's a play on the name."
Goodson was surprised when she learned Vordick developed her “brain baby” during her first semester at UNC.
“She was committing to essentially writing five-page research papers every other week,” Goodson said. “She's just so fantastic at what she does and so passionate about what she does.”
Although not directly affiliated with UNC, the podcast got its fan following from hanging fliers in the Davis Library bathrooms.
Goodson said the organization appeals to all students, but especially those who enjoy listening over reading.
“Hearing other people talk about themselves, hearing their inflection and the way they speak, can be a lot more meaningful than reading a quote,” she said.
Sophomore Sritha Chilumula joined the podcast team last semester and said she was immediately drawn to Vordick’s idea.
“I spent a whole day, listened to all the episodes that they had put out so far, absolutely loved it and I wanted to help out with this in any way I can,” she said.
However, there is a certain sense of responsibility for the recorders and interviewers to ensure neutrality and respectability, Chilumula said.
“You really have to look approachable, and just be very calm,” she said. “And have that ability to talk and hold a conversation with people and just make sure the other person is also comfortable.”
Some controversial topics, such as abortion rights and study drugs, were covered through Pit Perspectives' marketing campaigns. They use interactive contests, such as "Pin the IUD on the person" or a bucket labeled "Free Adderall" with smarties inside, to prompt student discussion.
“So, for the abortion episode, we did a poll where it was like 'How much do you think an abortion costs in North Carolina?' And the catch was for different types of abortions, there's different prices,” Goodson said.
The group launched a new type of episode this month, called Tuesday 10, which Vordick said is a more chaotic version of Pit Perspectives.
Tuesday 10 will focus on not-so-important social topics, such as one titled “Fall Fashion Fits + Faux Pas,’’ she said.
The podcast is a finalist for the College Broadcasters, Inc. National Student Production Best Podcast Award. The results will be released at the end of the month.
“It’s nice that our podcasts and all of our work can be experienced and recognized in the UNC community and even beyond the UNC community,” Goodson said.
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