Every August, the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) hosts an annual picnic at Anderson Park. Faculty, staff, undergraduate and graduate students in CSD are invited to come, eat food, and mingle with each other. At this year’s picnic, alongside casual mingling, the department facilitated a specific activity that encouraged attendees to have a more intentional conversation about each person’s background and experiences.

The Student Advisory Board (SAB) met with a small group of faculty in the 2019 spring semester to brainstorm potential ice breakers to incorporate in the picnic. The SAB wanted to add an activity to the picnic so that everyone felt included and had a conversation to join. This activity provided students a way to get to know each other and talk to people they may not have met before. SAB decided to use an activity advertised as called “Give Us Five.”

CSD students and faculty share experience in a small group discussion.

This activity encouraged participants to share something about their life. Individuals responded to open-ended prompts in a small group that was led by department faculty and student leaders. Prompts included:

  • Where have you been?
  • Where are you going?
  • What do you enjoy?
  • What do you dislike?
  • What makes your story interesting?

The end goal of this activity was to create value for everyone’s different life experiences and goals.

Students, faculty, and staff responded positively to the addition of this picnic activity. CSD leaders hope community-building activities will continue to be a part of the annual department picnic.