Over 2,000 Attend Community Care Day for Outdoor Fun and Food Trucks

On October 27, as the sun dipped below the horizon over Cannon Green, approximately 1,000 members of the University community convened for a "Community Gathering" to conclude the inaugural Community Care Day. This event aimed to foster rejuvenation, reflection, and camaraderie across the entire campus community. While more than 2,000 students, faculty, and staff partook in the day's activities, classes continued, causing some scheduling conflicts.

Over 2,000 Attend Community Care Day for Outdoor Fun and Food Trucks

The day's agenda, spanning from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., featured stations offering complimentary food and beverages, as well as activities like yoga, hiking, rock climbing, and watercolor painting. Between 5 and 6:30 p.m., undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 mingled at the Community Gathering on Cannon Green. University Health Services (UHS), a co-organizer of the event, emphasized the day's purpose: to cultivate a supportive mental health environment at Princeton, with many activities crafted in collaboration with students.

Students, like Daniel Wang ’26 and Elisa Gonzalez ’27, appreciated the opportunity to connect and take a break from their academic routines, whether savoring the fall foliage or bonding over cupcakes. For them, Community Care Day left a positive impression.

However, not everyone could fully engage in the activities due to demanding class schedules and assignments. Some students felt that not canceling classes undermined the day's principle of prioritizing mental health and well-being.

The event signaled the University's ongoing efforts to bolster mental health and student well-being, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the tragic deaths by suicide of students and staff members in recent years. A working group, formed in September 2022, recommended various enhancements to mental health resources on campus, addressing the rising demand for services like Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS).

Anne Laurita, the director of health promotion and prevention at UHS, stressed the importance of a wide range of mental health support services and programs, noting the nationwide trend of increasing self-reported mental health concerns among young adults.

The inaugural Community Care Day aligned with broader campus initiatives promoting student well-being, serving as a moment for meaningful connections and complementing ongoing efforts.

The event was a collaborative effort involving multiple university departments and student organizations, reflecting the University's commitment to fostering a supportive campus community.

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