How A Universal Feast Can Expand Your Social Networks
Social Media team reporter Hannah Sbeghen and photographer Patrick Hodge attend a dinner in celebration of International Harmony, where strangers quickly turned into friends.
Facebook friendships increased tenfold for the 100 guests attending the Universal Feast last week, hosted by Griffith Mates at the Nathan Campus in Brisbane.
Our Harmony Week celebrations at Griffith officially wrapped up on Harmony Day Saturday 21 March, after a big week of inspiring events for students and staff.
The Universal Feasts, were held at both the Nathan and Gold Coast campuses provided some of the most memorable moments of all, because nothing can build a better bond between strangers than sharing a laugh as you throw marshmallows at each other’s face… Really!
Through a series of games, international cuisine and loud dinner conversations the Universal Feast offered a great opportunity to network between international and domestic students.
The dinner offered three delicious courses, the first being Chinese, the main Mexican and Greek for desert.
Student Linx Coordinator, Katie Hanna said the whole point behind this event was to offer a friendly environment where student from non-English speaking backgrounds get to mix socially with their English speaking peers.
“It’s good to see new and current students come together and feel like they are a part of something and that they belong here at Griffith University. We hope everyone leaves with a bunch of new friends and a sense of belonging,” said Katie.
“At Griffith we plan to be one big happy family,” she said.
First year aviation student Ryan Eiteneuer, says he left with at least 5 new Facebook friends, and was pleased to have met so many people.
“My favourite part of the night in fact was the marshmallow game, it was so much fun trying to catch treats with my face,” Ryan said.
“It was great to see that they had selected cuisines from other countries, everyone was trying something new.” He said.
Between meals, the Griffith Mates staged four ice-breaking games from ‘Fast Friends’, to ‘Catch the Marshmallow’, ‘Red or Black and an innovative game called ‘Clusters’.
Katie explains that the games were designed purely for networking.
“One of the games we put together was called Fast Friends. We had an outer circle and an inner circle, where one went clockwise and the other clockwise until the music stopped, kind of like musical chairs. When the music stopped you had to introduce yourself to the person facing you,” Katie said.
International first-year student Hikaru Kato, from Japan said it was a satisfying event and the games made it easy for her to make friends.
“We can meet so many new friends, and also enjoy the international cuisine, but the most amazing things were the games where I made friends easily,” Hikaru said.
Event manager Lorenz, is an international student, now into his third year and said it it was a rewarding experience managing it all.
“It was a really fun and interesting event to manage, we wanted games where everyone had to be involved to increase the chances of creating a bond and future friendship,” said Lorenz.
“I felt that we helped start a lot of friendships and created a some really good memories for everyone, which makes me feel that the Universal Feast was a real success.”