College Final Exam Gets Canceled After Student’s TikTok Hits 1 Million Views
“The whole point was to showcase you don't have to be a celebrity to drive influence in social,” professor Matthew Prince explained. “I think the best examples of teaching and to learn are from real life examples.”
College student Sylvie Bastardo’s viral TikTok is the reason why the class’s final exam was canceled.
“She really messed up my lesson planning here,” her professor, Matthew Prince, quipped to Inside Edition Digital over Zoom.
Bastardo, from New Jersey, was just doing what Prince proposed on the first day of class. “The challenge was if a student could get a TikTok filmed in the class or about the class up to a million views on TikTok, that I would cancel the final,” he explained. “The other piece of it was if I was able to get a video that I filmed in the class or about the class to a million views, I would get to add an extra assignment to the syllabus. So it was a little more motivation for them to do it too.”
Bastardo decided to give it a shot. She quickly posted a video of the white board from inside the lecture hall at Chapman University in California, along with a reaction shot from her friend sitting next to her. The text caption read, “My professor said if our class got a tiktok to 1 million likes he would cancel the final!! Please like!!!”
About 48 hours later, she did it.
“It was crazy. I really didn't believe that it was going to happen. It wasn't anything that I put effort into. It was just a silly video I took in class and just decided to put to a song that was trending with it so it would reach as many people as possible,” Bastardo told Inside Edition Digital.
The class at Chapman University is called Influencer Marketing. Prince, an adjunct professor, has taught this course for three semesters. He’s also the director of marketing communications and public relations at Taco Bell. But it’s the first time he offered this unique assignment.
“The whole point was to showcase you don't have to be a celebrity to drive influence in social,” Prince explained. “I think the best examples of teaching and to learn are from real life examples.”
Bastardo went from 200 to 8,000 followers on TikTok. The video now has 4.9 million views. “I just never knew how strong the power of social media could be, especially for someone so average me. It's not like I'm famous or anything. It was just crazy seeing that power,” Bastardo said.
“I've told Sylvia this, but it, I'm super proud of her just throughout this journey,” Prince said about Bastardo. “She's just been such a good sport throughout it all.
Prince kept his word and canceled the final. If he does this assignment again, he thinks he has to change it up a bit.“Put in a little bit more criteria, guardrails and things like that. I think it's more of a kind of dual partnership in setting the challenge rules,” he added.
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