UC San Diego’s first annual YOU/CSD MiniFest took place Wednesday, November 28th outside the old student center on campus. The event was organized by Dr. Leslie R. Lewis and the Urban Studies and Planning Program, with a goal of facilitating connections across the campus community and creating a better sense of “place” and belonging at our university. Students, staff, faculty, and even visitors were all invited to take part in MiniFest activities, including creating ribbons for the “Diversitree”, sharing unique talents and traits on a polaroid photo-line, writing ideas on the Self Care board, and engaging with others through a “choose your own adventure”-type table with question slips. In addition to activities, there was also food, refreshments, and free succulent prizes for completing all stations of the MiniFest.
The Urban Studies and Planning Program also took this opportunity to assess the impact that events like this have on our campus’s sense of community and belonging. All participants were asked to fill out a brief survey after participating in the activities, and Dr. Lewis’s team will be evaluating the 140+ surveys from this event. The feedback so far has shown emphatically that events such as the MiniFest (which help people pause for 5-30 minutes and sometimes more, allowing them to look up, reflect, take a breath, and enjoy a snack and conversation with the people around them) help people feel better about themselves and enhance their sense of connection to both other people and to the campus.
See the slideshow below for some pictures from this event!