BYU ball pit improves student-to-faculty relations

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Students asking questions and getting to know each other in the ball pit at the Ball Pit Social. The Ball Put is brought to Brigham Square once a month to increase communication between students, faculty and friends. (Cara Wade)
Students asking questions and getting to know each other in the ball pit at the Ball Pit Social. The ball pit is brought to Brigham Square once a month to increase communication between students, faculty and friends. (Cara Wade)

The Student Advisory Council hosts a monthly ball pit social in Brigham Square where students can get in a ball pit together and ask questions written on the balls to each other, with the intent to increase communication on campus.

SAC is a student organization that tries to get students to talk to each other and to faculty and administration. Their goal is to connect student ideas for how to improve campus with faculty and administration.

Another aspect of campus SAC is improving is student-to-student relations. The goal of the ball pit social was to help students meet new people outside of their social circles.

Many of the balls had questions written on them, which the students could use to get to know each other. Questions included, “What would you do with 20 seconds of insane courage?” “What is your spirit animal?” “How old are you?” and “What is your best scar story?”

Many students thought it was intimidating to be put in a ball pit with a complete stranger, but they also thought it was a good way to get to know others.

“It’s a good way to meet people in a vulnerable state; it forces you to rely upon your surroundings,” said Nayma Zelaya, a graphic design major.

While many students got into the ball pit with friends, many were also able to talk to and get to know new people.

Students socialize in the October ball pit at Brigham Square. They ask each other questions written on the balls like, "how old are you?" and "what is your best scar story?" (Cara Wade)
Students socialize in the October ball pit at Brigham Square. They ask each other questions written on the balls like, “How old are you?” and “What is your best scar story?” (Cara Wade)

The ball pit social brought students together and gave them a chance to make their voices heard and submit their ideas for improving the BYU campus.

It enables students to alert faculty and administration to their needs and wants, but it also allows students to know what faculty and administration are doing to help, said Stephanie Morris, the student executive director for SAC.

Bringing Chick-fil-A to campus was one of the initiatives SAC was involved with. This required cooperation and understanding between students and administration.

“Often times we just talk about dynamic between students and administration, and it becomes an us-versus-them kind of thing. SAC is very much a collaborative effort,” said Anthony Bates, faculty adviser over SAC.

In trying to close this gap between students and administration, SAC has begun to strengthen the bonds between the two groups.

Parking advisement came to SAC when it was contemplating making BYU a bike-free campus. Based on the feedback from students, officials decided to not restrict access to bikes on campus.

This year the group would like to do a monthly ball pit social that will continue to increase communication between students and administrators. They hope students will gain a greater knowledge of the logistics and factors that go into implementing their ideas.

“When students can see genuine efforts made in their behalf they can see the administrations effort, and there is an increased ability to dialogue,” Bates said.

The next ball pit social will be held in Brigham Square on Nov. 19.

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