By Jhoana T. Merino-Martinez
In the span of an hour, students bonded, laughed and made new friends — that’s the virtual Playfair experience!
The high energy event led via Zoom by Samantha Cutaran, Playfair representative and actress, started at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 8.
Also called the “Ultimate Icebreaker,” Playfair is an entertainment organization that specializes in student orientation events. Since the beginning, Cuteran explained that the Playfair is typically an in-person team-building event.
While the venue certainly changed, its purpose did not: to build school spirit and morale among students.
“The whole point is to meet as many people as you can in a short amount of time,” Cuteran said.
Rashard Mills, the assistant director of Student Union Building Operations, represented the SUB at the event, joined in periodically to participate with the crowd.
Making The Most Out of Tech
With the use of video demonstrations and breakout rooms, the hour-long event was chock-full of team-building interactive games that made the time fly by.
A unique detail about Playfair is how certain activities are adapted to be inclusive of various Zoom formats. This level of awareness and preparation equalized the experience for everyone.
Participants were advised to turn on their cameras for optimal participation. For instance, “True for You” is a game that requires the camera to be on. In this activity, fun statements are made and students respond by staying in the camera frame if it is true for them, or inch out of focus if not.
Another webcam activity was the scavenger hunt-esque activity “Wild Card,” where participants found an object in their room that nobody else would have and then told a little fact about it.
“Sorry I’m Late,” was a word-play game where everyone goes around describing the plot of a movie or show as an excuse for being “late,” while the group tries to guess it.
Students answered personality trivia such as “are you generally late or early for things,” or “are you an introvert” in addition to ice-breaker questions such as “have you traveled out of the country before?” or “favorite snack or food?”
As lively as the main room was, the breakout room activities were key to the event’s team-building message.
Placed in groups of four or five, students were given amusing questions like “tell the story of your name” and “what book, movie, show or video game do you recommend.”
As the event went on, the prompts became slightly more personal to engage the group; students disclosed things like the origin story to their name and what positive thing they learned about themselves in quarantine.
Playfair ended with a note on the importance for students to build a sense of community at FDU even during virtual courses — especially the class of 2020’s freshmen.
“Now more than ever, we need to socially connect,” Cutaran said.