Month: February 2019


Educational Program of the Month
Love Succs

School: University of Hawai`i at Manoa Region: PACURH
Person in charge: Austin Choy Nominator: Austin Choy

Target Population: 260 Time Needed to Organize: 5 hours
Number of People in Attendance: 22 Date(s) of Program: February 13, 2019
Number of People Needed to Organize: 1 Cost of Program: $60
On-Campus Population: 3,450 Chapter Size: 34

Origin of Program:

Valentine's Day is a popular occasion among first year college students. Whether it be celebrating romance or embracing single awareness, there is no doubt that the love-filled holiday puts relationships in the spotlight. As the Resident Assistant of the 10th floor of Hale Aloha Lokelani, I have heard many polarizing thoughts about Valentine's Day. Residents currently in romantic relationships were looking forward to the holiday. For many of them, it is their first time celebrating their love for their new college sweetheart. However, other residents seem to show much disdain for the holiday. These residents describe the holiday as a day of loneliness that reminds them about how single they are. Wanting to bring these two groups of residents together, Love Succs was created. This program challenged residents to think of Valentine's Day in a new way: a day to celebrate all types of relationships. By doing so, the spotlight would be shifted away from just romantic relationships and towards all interpersonal relationships. As the school year continues and responsibilities pile up, residents can easily forget to tend to these important relationships in their lives. Love Succs served as a way to remind residents to work towards maintaining healthy relationships.

Word Count: 200

Please give a short description of the program:

This program utilized the metaphor of caring for and maintaining a plant to teach residents about caring for and maintaining interpersonal relationships. Upon arriving to the program, residents were greeted by me. As the main facilitator of the program, I welcomed the residents and explained the premise of the program to them. I told them that with Valentine's Day coming up, relationships were on everyone's mind. I explained that these relationships come all forms: romantic, platonic, familial, and even professional. I challenged them to expand their understanding of Valentine's and use the holiday to celebrate all types of relationships and all types of love. To this new ideal of the holiday in action, residents engaged in a reflective activity. On the wall of the lounge where the program was held, I created a large Spring-themed paper mural where residents could put their answers to two questions. At the top of the mural were clouds that asked residents "How do you 'grow' healthy relationships?" This questions asked residents to think of actions that they take in their lives to ensure their relationships are healthy and alive. Residents wrote their answers on cut-out raindrops and taped it to the wall under the clouds. Below the clouds were brightly colored flowers with long stems. The grass on the bottom of the mural posed the question, "What nutrients do healthy relationships need?" This questions had residents think of the different qualities and vital to a healthy relationship. Residents wrote their answers on cut-out leaves and taped them to the stems of the flowers.

After completing the activity, residents received a succulent-themed informational flyer titled "Healthy Relationships According to Plants." This small flyer gave residents a collection of tips they could use to care for both their plant and their interpersonal relationships. Examples of these tips include, "Give the plant what it needs. If you don't give the plant the nutrients that it needs, it will dry and wither." "Not all plants are the same. Some plants require more time, care, and attention than others do." and "Address dead leaves immediately. If left unattended, they can spread and potentially kill the plant." I told residents that if the parallels between these plant tips and relationship tips were not clear, simply replace the word "plant" with "relationship." After receiving the flyer, resident could choose a real, living succulent plant to take home with them.

Word Count: 398

Goals of the program:

The main goal of the program was to teach residents the importance of caring for the interpersonal relationships in their lives. The succulent-themed informational flyer gave residents healthy relationship tips that they can incorporate into their own lives. With these tools, they can ensure that their relationship are alive and thriving. The program also offered residents an opportunity to reflect on how they have been treating their relationships this school year and ways they can improve to strengthen their ties.

The second goal of the program was to challenge residents' traditional views of Valentine's Day. The program aimed to broaden the types of relationships celebrated on Valentine's Day, so all residents could participate. Making this holiday more inclusive ensured that no resident felt left out, excluded, or alone on a day where everyone should feel loved. Residents were reminded that romantic relationships are not the only type of relationship that matters. Platonic, familial, and professional relationships are also vital to their lives.

The third goal of this program was to beautify the 10th floor Hale Aloha Lokelani community. Colorful additions to the walls ensure that the community feels lively, warm, and welcoming.

Word Count: 192

Positive and lasting effects of the program:

Knowing the importance and impact that their actions have on their relationships, residents will act more intentionally and positively in their own interpersonal relationships. With the information they learned and the reflection that they did at the program, residents will continue take steps to ensure that all types of relationships in their lives are thriving.

The plant that the residents took home with them was a crucial part of the lasting effects of this program. The succulent serves as a living reminder about the lessons and values residents learned at the program. As residents actively take steps to care for the succulent and keep it alive, they will be reminded to practice that same level of care for their own relationships. Also, the mural that was created at the program will stay on the wall of the lounge for the rest of the school semester. This bright, colorful addition to the lounge not only adds much needed liveliness to the beige walls, but it also keeps the idea of healthy relationships in residents' minds. In times of need, residents can look at the mural and be inspired by the encouraging answers of others.

Word Count: 193

Short evaluation of the program:

Not only was this program was a huge success, but it also effectively achieved its goals. First, the program successfully raised awareness about the importance of caring for relationships. Many residents liked the informational flyer and agreed to employ the cute, quirky tips in the future. Residents had fun engaging in the activities at the program and brainstorming ways they care for their relationships. Their thoughtful responses such as, "Spend quality time together," "Give each other space," and "Love yourself first" show that they put much thought and reflection into their own relationships. Second, residents wholeheartedly agreed that Valentine's Day should not only celebrate romantic relationships, but all types of relationships. When explaining this concept, I received multiple snaps and "Yass" responses. This small, yet powerful idea empowered residents to shift their perspectives to become more inclusive. Third, the 10th floor lounge has a new seasonal mural that will bring joy to residents for many weeks to come. Overall, I have received much positive feedback about the mural and the program itself. Due to the program's success and popularity, other RAs in my building plan to redo this program next year on a larger scale.

Word Count: 195

How could this program be adapted to other campuses?

Since relationships and plants are universal concepts that everyone loves, this program can be adapted to any college campus! Colleges of any kind and any size can benefit from an educational program like this. A large part of this program utilized paper crafts and flyers. Paper is a readily available resource on many college campuses. Any type of paper can be used to create the mural and informational flyer featured in the program. If paper or printing is not available, information about healthy relationships can be spread via word of mouth or discussion. Program coordinators can get creative when considering different ways to have residents answer questions and reflect on their own relationships. It is important to note that this program gave residents real living succulents to take home with them. At times, these plants can be difficult to purchase due to price or availability. In the case that plants cannot be obtained, the program can give away other plant-themed objects or just maintain an overall plant theme to enhance the plant-relationship metaphor. Other plant-themed objects include do-it-yourself crafted plants, origami plants, or plant paintings. Overall, this program has the potential to grow and thrive on any college campus.

Word Count: 199

Date of entry into database: 2019-03-09 13:14:00

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