Beyond all the Jenga and Zumba, the daylong orientation event aims to build community
How do you engage nearly 10,000 students in one fell swoop?
It’s a question being asked, and answered, by organizers of Imagine, UBC’s annual daylong orientation event for new students on Tuesday, September 3.
So what did Shannon Sterling, program manager for Imagine, and fellow staff, come up with?
Ball pits. Around five of them. Housed inside longboat canoes.
Organizers hope the bit of childhood nostalgia will bring students closer together – encouraging them to dive into a ball pit with a stranger and start a conversation.
“Imagine encourages connections amongst students, staff and faculty and makes them feel like they’re part of a community,” says Sterling. “They’re able to see UBC as their home.”
The unconventional icebreaker is one of many planned for the day, which will also include a life-size Jenga set, a pop-up Zumba class and a massive pep rally featuring a performance from slam poet Johnny McCrae.
Sterling is celebrating her 10-year anniversary working at UBC this August. This will be her fourth year planning Imagine.
“I have quite an affinity for the University. That sense of community and pride that emerges from this event is powerful and impactful,” she says. “Imagine marks a new beginning.”