NACURH Winner
Month: September 2017

NACURH, INC.

Social Program of the Month
Revelle County Picnic

School: University of California, San Diego Region: PACURH
Person in charge: Kishan Desai & Sydney Gillen Nominator: Kishan Desai

Target Population: 400 Time Needed to Organize: 2 months
Number of People in Attendance: 464 Date(s) of Program: 9/24/2017
Number of People Needed to Organize: 2 Cost of Program: 790.50
On-Campus Population: 10700 Chapter Size: 47

Origin of Program:

At the University of California:San Diego, the campus is divided into seven residential areas. One residential area, Revelle College, is known for hosting a welcome program for new and returning students alike in order to create an environment for new students to meet and bond and for returning students to catch-up and relax before the school year begins.With the start of Fall Quarter, and a new school year ushering in new and returning students to UCSD,the two Senior Resident Assistants of Revelle College sought to create a large scale welcome program focusing on community building, fun and collaboration.With this goal in mind, the Senior RAs decided that the program should not only set a positive and lively precedent for the year to come, but also be a time devoted to unity and community.As a result, the idea of combining a safe and social environment while showcasing the opportunity of the institution allowed for incorporation of student groups and organizations from within UCSD.The two Senior RAs reached out to NRHH and ICRA, Revelle College Council, Revelle Programming Board, the UCSD Econauts and a local Petting Zoo company so to truly make the program, Revelle County Picnic,a community inspired and devoted event.

Word Count: 200


Please give a short description of the program:

On the evening of Sunday, September 24th, the Revelle community was greeted to Revelle County Picnic with the mouth-watering smell of churros and popcorn, the lively sound of music and the thrilling sight of petting zoo animals and crafts! At 6 PM excited attendees in a line extending hundreds of feet were admitted into the program with a variety of fun activities to participate in.

At one station, the UCSD Housing, Dining and Hospitality’s Econauts, a group of students dedicated to promoting a culture of sustainability, interacted with residents and talked about sustainable living and dining on campus while giving away reusable coffee tumblers to attendees for decorating.

The attendees were also treated to churros given out by the Revelle Residence Life Professional Staff and RAs so not only to familiarize the residents with the Residence Life team, but also to begin to create a community where RAs and Professional Staff were seen as friendly faces and resources to students.

At another activity station, Revelle College Council ( RCC) members came in full force to facilitate carnival games and sports like cornhole and football. These student leaders also encouraged and informed residents of the numerous leadership development opportunities on campus and took time to listen to their constituents while notifying them of the variety of resources students have on campus.

Next, executive board members from the National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH) and Inter- College Residents’ Association (ICRA) facilitated a succulent decorating station where they were able to create a presence in the community while connecting with students. Furthermore, the NRHH/ICRA members provided a hugely popular popcorn machine with which residents could enjoy freshly popped popcorn and enjoy the music from the nearby sound system!

Unsurprisingly, the petting zoo proved to be the most popular attraction of the program! Residents pet, held and relaxed after a long and stressful move -in with friendly and lovable goats, chickens, bunnies and the main attraction of the program: a majestic mini-horse named Sugarstar.

With such a large program it was necessary to keep everyone in high spirits; as a result, RAs and RCC members engaged with and talked to those waiting in line to be admitted into the program while handing out Student ID card holders and pouches. Additionally, Revelle Programming Board Members walked around the program taking and distributing Polaroid photos of attendees at the first Revelle College Welcome Week program of the year!

Word Count: 400


Goals of the program:

Centered around the hope of bringing people together and creating a welcoming environment, Revelle County Picnic was geared towards kicking off Welcome Week for new and returning students alike. Through interactive and resident-driven activities, Revelle County Picnic was meant to create a safe and social environment where residents could interact with one another, learn about various opportunities on campus, and enjoy the relaxing ambience after move-in and before classes. Attendees had the unique opportunity to socialize without added pressure as the activities were selected for attendees to enjoy individually or with a group.

The purpose of our program was to socially enrich and connect the community, and celebrate the start of a new school year. I believe that we achieved this goal in a fun and interactive way by providing residents with activities and interaction that not only kept them engaged, but that also made them invested in their fellow peers as well as the community they all are apart of. I think we succeeded in our goals; as one student acknowledged, "the event was super open and conducive to meeting new people… so it was a great chance to meet the people I’ll be spending the next year with.”

Word Count: 200


Positive and lasting effects of the program:

I definitely believe this program had a lasting and impactful effect, providing Revelle residents the first large opportunity to get together, socialize and create a community for themselves.Whether it was waiting in line next to one another, doing arts and crafts side-by-side or fawning over cute animals, each resident was able to connect with the community. The uniqueness of Revelle County Picnic as a program is in its multifaceted nature; that is, it provided a social environment for resident interaction while also creating the space to interact with student leaders and learn more about involvement opportunities and University resources. Throughout the program it became increasingly apparent that despite the night getting colder and darker the participation and attendance did not dwindle and we, as a Revelle community grew closer. With this being a free-flowing program it was easy to gain insight on the positive resident reception of the program. A returning resident expressed, "the huge turnout made the whole courtyard feel alive" and a new student remarked they felt, "comfortable with the new friends and home [he] made … at the Picnic." With these remarks in mind I am certain that the residents began to feel a sense of community.

Word Count: 200


Short evaluation of the program:

Overall, the program was very popular and successful; with hours to plan over the course of several weeks and a large number of program collaborators, little was left to variability. We began set- up with our volunteers at 5:00 PM, an hour before start time, allowing us to finish set-up just on time in our large outdoor venue, a courtyard enclosed by apartments and residence halls. However, the large influx of attendees throughout the program became overwhelming and made crowd-control difficult to manage. Despite the initial chaos, the event started on time and attendees began to line up before start time. The event location, a courtyard with benches, tables and chairs centered within the community, offered a perfect space to reach out to the varying demographics of the community. Although residents were free to leave anytime, many residents opted to stay longer, and enjoy the ambience.

Despite the many successes of Revelle County Picnic, a select few problems arose. Toward the end of the program,as the evening became night, the automatic outdoor lights failed to turn on. Nevertheless, the RAs were able to successfully contact the maintenance department and the lively resident participation allowed for the program to run smoothly!

Word Count: 200


How could this program be adapted to other campuses?

This program could easily be adapted to campuses of any size. The first week of college can be overwhelming and a bit scary for all students; having a program to bring everyone together is a great way to create a safe social environment. As long as campus partners are present and willing to collaborate, this program is feasible. Universities offer a plethora of campus organizations looking to reach students. Thus, the difficulty of organizing this program proved to be proper organization and ensuring that the program ran smoothly. Set-up included an outdoor venue in the center of a residential area to attract attendees and increase visibility, a beneficial choice for the environment we tried to cater to. Furthermore, stamping attendees’ hands after they signed in and after they received food proved effective in maximizing the amount of people receiving food and ensuring only those signed-in to the event participated. However, this can easily be changed depending on venue choice. For example, the program could be put into an indoor auditorium. When deciding on activities, we wanted a diverse selection; the activities we chose can be replicated or changed. Lastly, by incorporating attention-grabbing advertisements you will definitely have a successful program!

Word Count: 200



Date of entry into database: 2017-10-08 01:59:28

NRHH Database Home