The Center for Student Involvement (CSI) at UC Davis has come up with a new way to engage various clubs and organizations on campus, as they do every year. Two years ago, each club was tasked with designing and painting a step on a ladder that the fire department would use on one of its trucks.
This year, each organization designed and sewed their very own five-by-five-inch patch for an enormous picnic blanket that covered the entire quad on Picnic Day. Each group was encouraged to submit ideas, and, upon approval, given the OK to begin the sewing process. Athletics, religious groups and everyone in between were encouraged to participate.
“We wanted to show the unity that each group has on campus,” said Tim Mittens, vice president of CSI. “This connectedness allows for our student community to form. The sewing together of patches is a metaphor for how tightly knit our student body is.”
In a school of over 30,000 people, it may be difficult for one to find their place, but the blanket was an attempt to patch up relations between student groups. However, students were not given the materials needed to make their portions of the quilt, which meant the money used came out of their own budgets.
“There was no chance that I was going to spend my own money to make a quilt,” said Oliver Tate, the head of the club croquet team. He took issue with the fact that the quilt would be trampled by visitors and the booths. “Why do we need something covering the entire quad? For what purpose? Among the many other fundamental issues that I have with this, festivities on Picnic Day are simply going to ruin our art. There are other ways to engage to community without making us pay.”
The school planned on having over 200 clubs make a patch, but only 14 signed up and six actually took part. The blanket was used to cover one table in the CoHo.
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