News | November 01, 2022

NewsStudent LifeStudent LifeStudent SuccessStudent success

Take a break at SoVi’s Take Care Carnival 

College can sometimes feel like a rollercoaster — with plenty of ups and downs and few moments of calm, it’s hard to find time to have fun and focus on yourself. That’s why a team of resident assistants at Florida Gulf Coast University’s South Village (SoVi) is hosting the Take Care Carnival on Nov. 3. 

The event, happening on Recreation Field 2 in SoVi, will include some classic carnival games such as Skee-Ball and slam dunk basketball, and a food truck with drinks, hot dogs and churros. What makes this carnival different, though, is the purpose behind it.  

ABOUT THE EVENT

The Take Care Carnival begins at 6 p.m. Nov. 3 on Recreation Field 2 in South Village. It’s free for all SoVi students looking to catch a break from classes and connect with their community or just looking to have fun. 

“It’s about connecting students to other campus resources to help when they encounter challenges,” said Michael Dobrin, assistant director of SoVi. “During high-stress times like midterms and finals, or like we just experienced with the hurricane.”  

photo shows Michael Dobrin
Michael Dobrin

In addition to enjoying food and games, students will be encouraged to interact with university partners such as Prevention and Wellness Peers CARE and Career Development to learn about self-care and wellbeing. In doing so, they’ll earn tickets that can be exchanged at the food truck. 

SoVi housing is primarily reserved for freshmen but also includes a limited number of sophomores and transfer students. An important part of SoVi is helping new students smoothly transition into college life, and the Take Care Carnival is part of that. SoVi’s housing curriculum teaches residents about self-awareness, community engagement, equity and sustainability. The carnival will focus on the self-awareness pillar — more specifically, self-care. 

“Any way that people can take the time to do something that’s going to improve their life by just a little bit … whether that means being kind to (themselves) internally, getting some exercise, setting some time to relax” is considered self-care, said Emory Cavin, a Residence Life team assistant and member of the team that planned the carnival. “And that’s the cool part of our event. Just by going … residents are already going to be practicing self-care.” 

photo shows Emory Cavin
Emory Cavin

Every semester, a team of about 10 resident assistants led by Residence Life team assistants, plans and hosts these events. They’re given about $1,500 from housing, and the rest is up to them. Events in the past have focused on similar ideas such as physical wellness and financial stability. The Take Care Carnival is one of five events that SoVi will stage this academic year, including a multicultural festival in the spring. 

The idea for this carnival came in early August when RAs at SoVi began training. Since then, they’ve gone through several different versions of the event. Cavin and fellow Residence Life team assistant Sarah Berchtold originally wanted to include carnival rides such as mechanical swings or a Ferris wheel. They soon realized that was a bit too ambitious, so they went back to the drawing board. After doing some research they found a vendor offering carnival games at a low rate. 

“At first we were really disappointed,” Cavin said. “But now that we’ve overcome those hurdles, I’m even more excited than I was before.” 

Dobrin said these types of events are important not only because they’re beneficial for residents, but because they’re made by students, for students, and take them away from the weekly routine. 

“It allows residents to have a good time and take their mind off of things but also find support within their community,” he said. 

– Kaitlyn Snook is a senior journalism major interning with FGCU Marketing & Communications.