Last week, July 24, 2012, Peer2Peer hosted an annual summer event: The Friendshipness Stone Salad. Students who attended this unique event brought a cup of their own favorite salad topping, encouraging a sort of salad buffet to promote friendship and volunteer work.
Peer2Peer is a program that works with students to inspire leadership through volunteering. They collaborate with many clubs and programs on campus to provide them with volunteers. Students who work for Peer2Peer connect with a very diverse variety of clubs and programs on campus.
Many of the clubs and programs are not as active during the summer, but volunteer-oriented Peer2Peer keeps its doors open. Peer2Peer always hosts its annual event of Friendshipness Stone Salad, conducted during the summer to make sure students are still engaged and active with school activities.
Friendshipness Stone Salad is a social event that happens annually, where people are encouraged to bring their favorite salad toppings or salad dressings to share with all attendees. The event, open to the public, lasted just over the allotted one hour and attracted many people, so it was declared by Peer2Peer to be a success.
Divya Nair is the Social Coordinator of Peer2Peer and the person in charge for the Friendshipness Stone Salad. She mentioned that Jenny Lina, one of the previous Social Coordinators of the Peer2Peer program, got the idea of the event name. According to Nair, the event started because there was a children’s book called Stone Soup with a plot about community in the Peer2Peer bookshelves inside Student Programs.
Friendshipness Stone Salad also included a game, advertised to be a ‘secret’ game on the Facebook page for the event, in which everyone was allowed to participate, with or without a salad topping. This game wasn’t revealed until the event itself: “I know everyone had fun with the game we played,” said Nair. “It’s called I have never… We played with M&Ms! So a person would say what they had never done in their lives and if people around the table had, then they would eat an M&M!”
When it came to the salads themselves, Peer2Peer provided lettuce, as well as drinks. That is why Nair recommended that people contribute and bring salad dressings or toppings. Some popular toppings included nuts, fruits, and vegetables “We also had a little diversity with the toppings. Sarah Fisher brought in some squid that was sliced and dried,” said Nair.
Students and organizers had a lot to gain from this event. “It was a really great way to get to know more people,” said Michael Yoon, ASG Vice President of Student Affairs and Pluralism, who is studying business management and attended the event.
For Nair, the event showed her how even a little contribution can help out a lot. “We don’t have to give everything, but even the little that we give counts.” said Nair. According to her, the event is another means of bringing students together. It is a good way for students to get to know each other and network.
For Peer2Peer program coordinator, Sarah Fisher, the event was a representation of how a society could not exist without its members. It shows her how a salad could not be made without its toppings or dressings just as a society can not exist without its members participating and being actively involved.
Also, in response to a frequently asked question, Nair said, “I do realize Friendshipness is not a real word. It’s been the event’s title for some time now, and it seems to fit!”