Feature Stories Campus Events All Stories

A Day on the Green As part of an immersive Spring Term sociology course, students created a campus-wide event to serve as a real-world study on inclusivity.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As part of an interactive and immersive Spring Term project, students in Sociology and Anthropology 290: Belonging in College created and coordinated a campus-wide event on Cannan Green called A Day on the Green.

The event, which was fully student-led, was a real-world study on bringing together students from all parts of the W&L social environment. Replete with food, games and engaging conversations, the event allowed students to explore what inclusivity means to students at W&L.

“We’ve learned about how many sociologists believe that a sense of belonging is necessary in order to be able to succeed in other realms like academics,” said Isabel Chiodo ’21. When asked what surprised her most about this Spring Term experience, Chiodo remarked, “Looking at the sociological behavior and theories with teenagers is very different from general sociology!”

This course was designed by Boetsch Associate Professor of Sociology Lynny Chin to explore questions of what it means to belong in college and how academic and institutional structure shape who “fits in” and who “belongs.” The seminar used poll data from W&L students and free-flowing, honest discussion to examine social needs, norms and concerns across a wide spectrum of issues.

“I have been surprised by how the struggle of belonging occurs in almost every group, just in different ways. I always expected certain marginalized groups to suffer from this problem, but this problem affects people from every group,” Ryann Carpenter ’20 said. “The best part about the course is hearing different perspectives from very different people during class about college life and belonging. I have learned so much from their thoughts and opinions and, without this class, would not have heard these interesting opinions.”

A Day on the Green was a huge success for the class, as turnout on the beautiful May Tuesday surpassed 125, also surpassing the students’ expectations.

“I have learned that belonging in college is an extremely vital part of college life and has the ability to alter a student’s success in college from every aspect,” said Carpenter.

See more images from #wluSpringTerm experiences here: https://myw.lu/wluspringtermphotos.