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Unity Games promote community, diversity

| Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The McDonald Center for Student Well-Being sponsored its second Unity Games event on Monday night in the LaFortune Student Center Ballroom. The Unity Games is a week-long series of competitions designed to bring together the Notre Dame community by encouraging students from different backgrounds to get to know each other.

McDonald Center health educator Bridget Hoffmann said the night was a great way to get students involved and exposed to the resources and information offered by the McDonald Center, also known as McWell, which was created from an endowed gift in 2014.

According to McWell’s website, its main goal is to “provide prevention, intervention and education programs” and “coordinate assessment activities that support the health of Notre Dame students.”

Hoffman said Monday night’s games included “Minute to Win It” competitions and were intended to be an easy way for students to get to know each other.

“‘Minute to Win It’ is based off the popular TV show, and we’ve got eight challenges that the students are going to go through as teams,” Hoffman said.

Prizes will be awarded, Hoffman said, but the nature of the games is fairly silly and fun to play.

“We’ve got everything from stacking donuts on your forehead to playing office tennis with clipboards,” Hoffman said.

Senior Brianna Prusakowski serves as a Thrive Peer Educator for the McWell Center and said students will find the “Minute to Win It” style games very engaging.

“I helped create them earlier today, and they should be pretty hilarious and entertaining,” Prusakowski said.

Sophomore William Dean Merriweather III, also a Thrive Peer Educator, said he values the goals of the Unity Games and how they try to strengthen the Notre Dame community.

“Tonight we’re hoping to unite people from different parts of life and aspects of Notre Dame and enjoy a fun time together,” Merriweather said.

Merriweather said the prizes and incentives help encourage students to show up.

“You’re getting food every night, there’s fun games to play, and you’re meeting new people,” Merriweather said.

Ashley Lunford, assistant director of programming for the Multicultural Student Programs and Services, said she played a major role in organizing the Unity Games and believes they offer a way for a variety of Notre Dame students to get to know each other and bond

“I’m super excited for the games, and I’m hoping more and more people show up as the games continue,” she said.

Lunford said the mission of the Unity Games aligns with the broader goals of the University to bring students together.

“It should be a really cool opportunity for diverse groups of people to come get together, people who don’t normally hang out together. Here they can get to know each other,” Lunford said.

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