Student organizations will be tabling throughout the quad
UC Davis’ annual Picnic Day will involve a variety of student clubs and organizations that highlight student involvement on campus. Victoria Choi, a second-year English major and the student organization fair director of Picnic Day, explained that there are a number of benefits for student organizations participating in the fair, which takes place on the quad.
“First of all, it’s great exposure — over 70,000 visitors come by the quad,” Choi said. “The names of the clubs gets out there, they’re very present and they get to expose themselves to a lot of visitors, and that’s a great way for them to make connections. Secondly, they can also fundraise — they can host an entire food booth where they prepare their own food, and they have the potential to make a lot of money that way.”
One student organization that will be putting on a food booth is the Puerto Rican Community Association (PRCA). According to Eliacin Velazquez, a fourth-year political science major and president of the PRCA, visitors to the quad will be able to purchase tostones, Puerto Rican salad and pork chops from the booth.
The association’s goals include spreading awareness of the issues that Puerto Rico faces, particularly revitalization efforts for the island.
“We serve to unify Puerto Ricans and allies throughout the state of California, and we’re open to anyone who wishes to learn about Puerto Rico,” said Liliana Valladares, a third-year sociology major and general board member. “Our organization was created in response to Hurricane Maria, which of course, devastated the island in September 2017. The PRCA works with this organization called Casa Pueblo, which is an international[ly] renowned community organization that prioritizes social and ecological self-efficiency throughout the island.”
The organization’s fundraising and food booths will be providing money for Casa Pueblo for solar panel installation throughout Puerto Rico.
The quad will be split into two separate areas, according to third-year statistics major and vice chair of Picnic Day Nicole Deacon. The East Quad will include all the food booths that certain clubs and organizations will put on, and the West Quad will primarily be utilized for information and fundraising booths for student organizations who have opted to participate in Picnic Day. Both sets of booths have the opportunity to raise significant funds for the clubs and organizations involved.
Choi emphasized the importance of Picnic Day as it relates to presenting UC Davis to the larger community.
“I think Picnic Day is really important because it’s UC Davis’ open house,” Choi said. “We’re showcasing ourselves, and I think [Registered Student Organizations] are really crucial to that because they represent different groups and communities on campus, and we all make up this campus community together, so RSOs really play a central role in making Picnic Day that community aspect.”
Deacon also stressed the important role that student clubs and organizations play in Picnic Day and how clubs continue to participate in Picnic Day year after year, despite membership and leadership change.
Mechanism Press, a recently formed student-run publishing company that is working to produce its first literary magazine called Open Ceilings in Fall 2019, is one of the student organizations that will be tabling at Picnic Day.
“We’re planning to set up a photo booth with some props, like a typewriter, and we’re going to try to get as many people there as possible,” said Matthew Pimbley, a second-year English major and the co-director of the board for Mechanism Press. “It’s really an important event for us, because, as a brand new organization, it’ll be our first opportunity to gain publicity on such a large scale with the community, alumni and parents.”
The Students for Reproductive Freedom at UC Davis will also be involved with Picnic Day. The organization is an affiliate of Planned Parenthood’s Generation Action organization, which is Planned Parenthood’s collegiate-level organization. According to Emma Warshaw, a third-year global disease major and the president and co-founder of the UC Davis chapter, the organization is concerned with reproductive justice issues on campus, within the community and within the state of California.
“As a club, this is our first year; we officially launched this last fall, and we worked on canvassing campaigns — we were part of the campaign for Josh Harder in Modesto for Congress,” Warshaw said. “We do birth control workshops. Some events that we’re going to be doing this quarter are a gender pay gap bake sale. We’re hoping to do a workshop on Title X reforms that are happening, which is taking a bunch of funding away from Planned Parenthood and leaving about 4 million people without health care.”
In terms of their involvement in Picnic Day, members of the club will be marching in the Picnic Day parade and tabling at the student organization fair. They will share information about the club and current reproductive justice issues and hand out Planned Parenthood imprinted goods.
The Environmental Club will also be involved in tabling at the student organization fair, where they will be selling pins and stickers and promoting an event called the Stay Nature Challenge, according to Caroline Newell, a fifth-year wildlife, fish and conservation biology major and president of the environmental club.
“Our club is essentially just a place where people can come to our people to learn about environmental issues,” Newell said. “We are really focused on outreach and education about environmental issues, and we also provide avenues for students to get involved with the local community in environmental types of projects.”
Community projects that the environmental club members are involved in include Tree Davis, a local organization that plants trees in the community to increase the quality of habitats, and different restoration projects.
“We also just allow students to learn more about careers in environmental avenues,” Newell said. “We went last quarter to the Lawrence Hall of Science and got to do a career panel with people that work there, and we got behind the scenes tours of the facilities, and this weekend we’re going sea kayaking. We’re trying to increase people’s appreciation of the environment as well as raising awareness about issues that we face as a society.”
The UC Davis Zero Waste and Sustainability Club, another club dealing with environmental issues, will try to attract UC Davis students by asking them to pledge to use zero waste products, according to Malia Helms, a third-year bioengineering major and president and founder of the club. In exchange for signing the pledge, students can choose between a reusable straw, a reusable boba straw and a reusable bag.
“The club is founded to make UC Davis more sustainable,” Helms said. “Currently, there’s a UC-wide goal for all the campuses to reach zero waste by 2020, so that’s what we’re trying to help the campus do.”
UC Davis is currently at about 75 percent waste diversion from the landfill, and the club’s goal is to reach 90 to 95 percent of their zero waste goal by 2020.
“There’s also a UC-wide goal of zero carbon emissions by 2025, and we’d also like to help reach that goal,” Helms said. “The main way we’re doing that is involving students, which is the largest population on campus, to reach that goal.”
Students from the UC Davis Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing will also be involved with Picnic Day. They will be tabling and selling succulent plants, among other items, in an effort to fundraise for the Flower Project, according to Breanne Harris, a Master’s Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN) student and vice president of the MEPN Cohort 3 Graduate Student Association.
“Our group is comprised of students who are working towards our Master’s in Nursing, and we all have a Bachelor’s degree in something other than Nursing,” Harris said. “Ours is the third actual group of graduating students from this program — it’s only been around for three years — and our particular group is focused on providing resources for homeless and underserved women. We have a particular project that we have been working on that we call the Flower Project, which is dedicated to putting together feminine hygiene kits for women who are homeless or underserved.”
The week before Picnic Day features certain festivities to get the student body excited for the big day.
“This year we’re going to have events on Wednesday and Thursday from 12 to 3 out on the Quad,” Deacon said. “There are going to be performances by student groups, there are going to be groups tabling, it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Written by: Sabrina Habchi — firstname.lastname@example.org