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UCalgary Strong Carnival sees turnout double in its second year

By Nikayla Goddard, September 13 2016 —

Over 2,000 students attended the UCalgary Strong Carnival on September 8 — more than double the 950 who participated last year.

Hosted by the Students’ Union Wellness Centre and the Leadership and Student Engagement Office in MacHall, the event featured games, activities and booths from various campus groups and services.

The carnival is in its second year. UCalgary Strong originated in September 2014 following the murders of five post-secondary students at a house party in Brentwood on the last day of classes. The carnival serves both as a welcome during O-Week for new students and as a commemoration of the five lives lost.

“The carnival and festival both promote our campus community, reduce loneliness and isolation and foster resiliency in the face of the stressors that are part of the post-secondary experience,” said Emily Coulter, carnival organizer and student life coordinator at the Leadership and Student Engagement Office.

The carnival is a smaller version of the UCalgary Strong Festival that takes place at the end of the school year.

“Both [events] have the larger goal of fostering a sense of community and connectedness amongst our students and are part of the UCalgary Strong initiative where elements of student personal wellness, leadership and engagement are all focuses,” she said.

The event featured a variety of activities, including arcade games, a large Jenga set, do-it-yourself craft stations, a large parachute game, a photo booth and rapid-fire basketball hoops run by members of the Dino’s basketball teams.

The carnival also included music from CJSW and several information stations for campus services, including the SU Wellness Centre and Active Living.

“I’m happy with the turnout and the overall energy and enthusiasm,” Coulter said. “I think our first-year students felt welcomed and connected. I am very grateful to all the different campus groups that came out to help facilitate some of the activities and help make the event such a success.”

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