Students from the UCSB course Communication 162: Communication and Peace course hosted their eighth annual Peace Fair on the lawn outside Building 434 yesterday.
Held from noon until 2:30 p.m., the fair featured a number of tables stationed on the lawn, with each offering peace-focused activities for fair attendees. The event’s array of activities included a station where attendees could draw their own views of peace, as well as demonstrations of joke-telling, yoga lessons and a display where attendees could write down acts of kindness that they have witnessed, which they could then hang with a clothespin.
Professor Anna Laura Jansma, who teaches the “Communication and Peace” class, said the fair allowed students to share their work with the greater UCSB community.
“In the class, all the students write their own theory and create projects,” Jansma said. “This is a place where some of them can actually do their projects, or display the results of their projects.”
According to Jansma, the fair provides a peaceful atmosphere where attendees can participate in projects and socialize with other campus community members.
“We usually get about 100 people come through, [who] spend some time, eat some food … pet a bunny, spend time with each other, fold peace cranes,” Jansma said.
Fourth-year communication major Justine Pointer said the goal of the class was to form a personal understanding of the word “peace,” while then exploring that understanding through a final project.
“Throughout the quarter, we had to create a definition of what peace means to us, and then create a project based on that,” Pointer said. “It’s a reminder of the really important things and getting back to nature.”
Molly McIlvaine, fourth-year communication and film & media studies double major, said the professor brought in a variety of speakers to discuss their personal definitions of peace and offer advice on how to communicate these ideas to others.
“We’re learning about different types of religion and different types of peace,” McIlvaine said. “We’ve had guest speakers come into class who have taken on certain lifestyles after a tragedy or something, telling us what peace means to them and different ways it can be communicated on a mass media level, or personally, between two people, or interpersonally.”
According to McIlvaine, the course strives to assist students in discussing and spreading peace in meaningful ways, such as through connecting oneself with natural surroundings.
“I think it’s really important,” McIlvaine said. “It’s important to connect with nature. We live in such a beautiful place. This Peace Fair is a good way to explain to people there are many ways to spread peace.”
McIlvaine and Pointer once spread peace to customers at Crushcakes by donating $2 to each student’s coffee and beverages, and McIlvaine said she hopes others will continue sharing peaceful gestures with others.
“We’re here at the Peace Fair telling people about our project, and hoping they will sign a pledge to continue passing that peace along,” McIlvaine said. “Hopefully, they’ll pass on the kindness. You never know who’s having a bad day, or what kind of effect it’ll have on people.”
Jansma said she was impressed with students’ ideas and said she felt the satisfied with the results of the fair.
“Students are so creative,” Jansma said. “I never know what they’re going to come up with. Today was good … the projects were good, and people came and hung out and seemed to have a nice relaxing time.”
Photo courtesy of UCSB Peace Fair
A version of this article appeared on page 3 of May 30th’s print edition of the Daily Nexus.