This phase was developed with the aim to enhance connections that were newly formed. This was done by an excersise where all the participants remained in the circle and were asked to state one thing about themselves.
Any person who relate to what was said was asked to stand beside them and lock arms. The outcome was supposed to be a newly formed circle with deeper connections.
In the first phase the main focus was to see each other, to introduce ourselves and find out how are we all connected.
Do we know each other through mutual friends? Have we seen each other in the canteen? Would we consider ouselves in one social net?
In a formed circle every person received a string which they were asked to give to somebody they knew. This created a visual social network.
The final phase served as an appreciation excersise. The formed community was asked to trace each of their own hands on a big sheet of paper and in them write their name and a few things about themselves.
This was done in a less controlled setting so that people could exchange ideas, develop connections, and engage in conversations over what they were writting.
At the end of the event we received verbal feedback from the college students who attended. The feedback on the event was all positive, and we noticed that many people commented on how during the pandemic the sense of community and belonging in the college was lacking. Furthermore, students mentioned that they were more familiar with people on their course and that the event was a good opportunity to meet new people from other courses.
The event has also created longitudinal effects. For example, students (including ourselves) who met each-other at the event now greet each other while walking around the college campus. People who attended the event now see more familiar faces around the campus, this is an example of how weak ties are made. Weak ties in the college environment could contribute to a setting which fosters a greater sense of belonging for students (Sandstrom and Dunn, 2014).