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Unity Games aim to build community

| Thursday, January 14, 2016

In an effort to encourage students from a variety of backgrounds to meet, work together and have fun, the Unity Games will kick off Jan. 24 and run until Jan. 30. Sponsored by Multicultural Student Programs and Services (MSPS), the Gender Relations Center, RecSports, the Student Activities Office, the Student Union Board, the Division of Student Affairs, the McDonald Center for Student Well-Being, Campus Ministry and the Career Center, the Unity Games hope to promote multicultural collaboration and friendship among the student body.

The Unity Games represent an opportunity to motivate students to interact with other students they might not have met otherwise and to get involved in the efforts of MSPS and other sponsoring organizations, junior intern for Multicultural Student Programs and Services Summer Bernard said.

“We want everyone to get to know each other and come together as a community,” Bernard said.

According to the Unity Games’ website, students need to register online in order to participate. They will then be placed in teams to compete in a variety of games throughout the week, including a trivia night hosted by Campus Ministry, a RecSports Day and a Family Feud-style competition. Points will be awarded to teams based on their rates of participation during the entire week, as well as their performances in individual competitions. Even if students cannot commit to being on a team for the whole duration of the Games, they are encouraged to still show up, watch and participate in events when possible, Bernard said.

“The team with the most points at the end of the week will get a prize as a kind of incentive,” Bernard said.

While the focus is having fun and building community, events sponsored by Campus Ministry and the Career Center may also help educate students, Bernard said.

The Unity Games began last year and found success with approximately 60 student participants, a number they hope to match or exceed this year, Bernard said.

“There wasn’t anything exactly like this before,” Bernard said.

The spirit of the Unity Games follows in same vein as other programming hosted by Multicultural Student Programs and Services, Bernard said. In particular, she said the event shares the same goals as First Fridays, an ongoing series of relatively unstructured social events aimed at bringing students together to promote community with food and games.

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