Month: December 2017


Diversity Program of the Month
Game of Life

School: University of Arizona Region: IACURH
Person in charge: Cochava Hall- Fall Programming Group 3 Nominator: Aishwarya Karlapudi

Target Population: 50 Time Needed to Organize: 3 weeks
Number of People in Attendance: 50 Date(s) of Program: November 6, 2017
Number of People Needed to Organize: 6 Cost of Program: $53
On-Campus Population: 6500 Chapter Size: 65

Origin of Program:

The Game of Life was created in 2014 by Max Rodriguez, a previous RA at the University of Arizona (UA). At the UA, RAs are required to create monthly programs towards specific goals, one of which is social justice. Max created the Game of Life not just to meet this particular goal, but more so to make residents aware of the importance of social justice in their daily lives.

Max again used the Game of Life in 2015, his last year as an RA, and Aishwarya (Aishu) Karlapudi's first year. She saw the important effect the program had on residents and wanted to continue the Game of Life even after Max graduated.

Under Max's guidance, Aishu put on the Game of Life in 2016. Now in 2017, and her last year as an RA, Aishu has moved to a much smaller community where she was unsure if the Game of Life could adapt from her previous residence hall of more than 700 residents. Fortunately, with some changes, the Game of Life was successfully executed for the fourth year in a row. Aishu hopes to pass on this program so it continues to positively impact students even after she graduates.

Word Count: 200

Please give a short description of the program:

To start, each resident picks a random card. Each card has four shapes on it: triangle, square, circle, and heart. What differs for each card is the color of the shapes- the triangle is either red or green, the square is either orange or blue, the circle is either purple or yellow, and the heart is either pink or black.

Let’s say you are playing the game with the random card you have chosen. You walk to the first table, the Triangle/Socioeconomic Status (SES) table. The RA here reads you this prompt:

“Kasey is 16 and struggling in high school biology. She asks her friend, Tamara, how she’s getting straight A’s, and Tamara tells Kasey that her parents have hired her a personal tutor. Kasey thinks about how she will have to work tonight, and also make dinner since her parents will be working late. She thinks maybe if her family had the money, she could also have a tutor.”

The RA then asks for the color of your triangle. You have green, but your friend has red. The RA gives you a poker chip, but your friend does not get one.

You both travel to the second table, the Square/Sexuality Table, and the RA here reads you a similar prompt relating to sexuality. The RA then asks for the color of your square. You have orange, and your friend has blue. This time your friend gets a poker chip, but you do not.

This continues for two more tables: the Circle/Race table, and the Heart/Gender table. Again, at each table the RA reads a prompt, and then asks for the color of a shape, which determines whether or not you get a poker chip.

After visiting all four tables, you enter a room where the significance of the colors and shapes are revealed. The green triangle, blue square, purple circle, and black heart all signified a status of privilege at their corresponding tables, and received poker chips. For example, at the first Triangle/SES table, your green triangle, for which you received a poker chip, corresponds to the privileged Tamara in the prompt.

After learning the significance of the colors and shapes as the life you are born into, and the poker chips as representations of privilege, you join in on a guided discussion about what privilege is, how to recognize your own, and how to be an ally.

Word Count: 399

Goals of the program:

The goals for the Game of Life were all focused around helping residents be more aware of social justice and responsibility in their own lives. The goals were:

-for residents to understand that privilege is something that we are born with or something that we inherit, not something we earn.

-for residents to recognize that most people, including themselves, have some form of privilege.

-for residents to make the connection between the Game of Life, privilege, and experiences in their own lives, or lives of loved ones.

-for residents to realize that having privilege is not automatically a negative thing, but rather something that can be used positively through ally-ship.

-for residents to learn how to become a compassionate and effective ally.

-for residents to become more aware, and appreciate, that people of various identities and backgrounds may have different experiences in comparison to their own experiences.

-for residents to have a safe space to express their thoughts and feelings regarding this subject matter.

-for residents to be more open to listening and validating the thoughts of others.

-for residents to be able to have conversations about social justice, privilege, and ally- ship within their own friend groups and communities.

Word Count: 200

Positive and lasting effects of the program:

There are many positive and lasting effects due to the Game of Life, especially now that it is the fourth year of the program helping residents understand the importance of social justice.

-Residents are now more aware of their own privilege, and because they know how to be an ally, they may choose to act differently in social situations.

-Residents who identify as a part of an SES class, sexuality, race, or gender, which is not deemed privileged by society, may find comfort in the fact that we are openly addressing privilege and trying to create allies.

-Some residents have kept their shape and color cards as a reminder of the Game of Life and what it stands for.

-Residents have spread their gained knowledge, and have started conversations with other residents, about the subjects discussed during the Game of Life.

-This program can be used by other RAs in following years to continue important conversations about social justice and the positive impacts that the Game of Life brings to residents.

-The Game of Life prompts can be altered every year based on current events and new legislation, so that RAs can continue to make the program relevant and impactful.

Word Count: 200

Short evaluation of the program:

This program went extremely well, and the programming group was glad to see that residents actually stayed over an hour after the scheduled end of the program to engage in deep discussion about social justice. Residents were able to express their views, be challenged, and gain new perspectives regarding the subjects of privilege, socio-economic status, sexuality, race, and gender.

The programming group had previously printed lots of resources, facts, figures, and data that could be shared with the residents to help them understand the concepts of privilege and social justice in a more concrete capacity.

Residents felt that they learned a lot from the conversations that occurred at the Game of Life, and said that their preconceived notions had been altered in a positive way. All of the goals for the program were met, and many of the students walked a way with a broader understanding of social justice.

We hope to continue this program indefinitely and continue educating residents how social justice impacts everyone’s lives. In our pursuit for a most just society, we hope to inspire others to adopt the Game of Life, or adapt the program in a way that works for their own, unique residence hall.

Word Count: 200

How could this program be adapted to other campuses?

This program can easily adapted to other campuses. Aishu and her programming group were able to take the original program which was created for a residence hall of 700+ students, and make changes suitable for a building less than half that population size. The tables were set up throughout the residence hall in a manner that allowed students to navigate to each one easily, and then end in the discussion room. This format can be stretched or shrunk down based on the space available.

The prompts for the Game of Life can also easily be adapted to other campuses. Since the UA is in Arizona, the prompts at the sexuality, race, and gender tables were all based off of Arizona laws. Based on what state the Game of Life is held in, these prompts can be modified to accurately reflect events that may occur in that location.

The Game of Life is also a program that can also continue for many years. Changes in legislation may occur over time, but the prompts can be modified to reflect current events and social injustices. Partnerships with social justice groups can also take place to increase the effectiveness of the Game of Life.

Word Count: 200

Date of entry into database: 2017-12-06 15:08:30

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