Take a moment to imagine this. Picture a large room filled with teams of students lunging and snapping their arms like jagged alligator jaws as other students collapse to the floor before them and lie flat as pancakes. Piercing the air are cheers of success, explosions of laughter and guffaws that burst from 70 happy mouths. Imagine the alluring smell of cheesy pizza filling your nostrils and igniting your hunger. And, as you shake hands with the strangers that surround you, you can feel the warm connection like an electric pulse running from your hand, up your arm and into your heart.
This might give you an idea of how it felt to be in WKAR’s massive Studio A this Wednesday playing games, enjoying food and best of all, making new friends in the Media Sandbox “CoLabs’” student mixer, “Get Connected” on Wednesday.
So, What is CoLabs?
Well, it’s not a laboratory with beakers and chemicals where lovely ComArtSci students create new potions. What CoLabs does have in common with a laboratory is the experimentation that takes place as students from across majors with varying interests collaborate and play while generating creative ideas, tackling compelling projects and making new friends (CoLabs = Collaboration Labs).
Wednesday was the first CoLabs event of the season and there are more to come. Each event is themed. This one was “Get Connected,” an evening for student networking. Others will be “Discover Yourself,” “Love What You Do,” and “(Em)BRACE Yourself.” Media Sandbox plans to hold about three events per semester.
Students Working Together
To wrap up this week’s 90-minute event, small groups of students were given the task of creating a ‘Coat of Arms’ that collectively represented who they were as a team. After a discussion, each group named themselves and each member drew different images on a paper plate representing the things they shared, such as a value, an interest and a passion. While some were more aesthetically pleasing than others, it was the process behind the ideas that were key.
As groups held up their paper plate illustrations and reported their Coat of Arms to the rest of the room they proudly announced names like House of Slumber (we all like to sleep!), House of Verde (Go Green!) and House of Litty (because what is college without a little bit of fun?), and they spoke of shared loves for life, the environment, travel, equality and respect, but also less grandiose concepts, such as ice cream and music. Activities such as this helped to create a bond among students by getting them to talk about their deeper selves in a fun, friendly and non-threatening environment and the ingenuity students showed by collaborating on a simple task and generating something meaningful speaks to the value that CoLabs has for student engagement and achievement.
Join the Next CoLabs Session
The next CoLabs session, “Discover Yourself,” is on Thursday, October 12 at 5:30 p.m. and all students are welcome to attend!
Whether you come to network, make friends, or make an idea reality, there is a spot for you. Coming into the evening on Wednesday, one wouldn’t have known that walking into this ‘average studio experience’ with a battalion of strangers would have turned into a rainbow of unforgettable experiences.
by Claire Destrampe