Point Park Globe

Connect Unplugged centers around team building

New club plans a phone-free retreat for spring semester

Written By Lauren Clouser, Co-Features Editor

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Megan Reiff, a freshman public relations and advertising major, decided to bring Connect Unplugged to break up cliques on campus. 

Rieff heard the problem raised at the Pioneer Ambassador panel at her freshman orientation. 

“Somebody asked what’s your least favorite thing about Point Park, and one of them said it’s very cliquey,” Reiff said. “And Connect Unplugged is something that kind of gets rid of all that, because when you’re in that space, it doesn’t matter what you are outside of the space. It’s just who you are there.”

Connect Unplugged is a national organization that puts together retreats filled with games and activities that promote team building and leadership skills. 

The program was founded by Diana Weidner at Lock Haven University, and is a part of multiple campuses across the
country. 

Reiff, who participated in a similar program in high school, reached out to Widner to discuss how to get the organization to Point Park.  

“I reached out to her and I was like, ‘Hey I really enjoyed this program at my high school and I was wondering if you could help me bring this to my college,’ and she was like ‘yeah, of course,’” Reiff said. “So we went for lunch and she gave me some information
about it.”

The retreat also does not allow participants to use their phones. 

Zofina Fink, a freshman undecided major and treasurer of the club, said unplugging from technology allows students to connect better. 

“No phones, just kind of depending on each other, communicating, getting to know each other in a really intimate kind of way,”
Fink said. 

This semester Reiff is currently working on fundraising and raising awareness for the club, which was approved by USG on Oct. 15.  

Reiff hopes to have a retreat organized for the spring semester at a camp near the Pittsburgh area. 

The retreat has a schedule set by Weidner, who provides the itinerary to all participating schools. 

Reiff said students don’t have to be members of the club to go on the trip.

Lauren Reuther, a freshman psychology major and member of Connect Unplugged, said the organization was especially important on an urban
campus. 

“Being in the city, there aren’t many opportunities to get out of the city and go do something like that, something adventurous,” Reuther said. 

Fink said the organization was something unique for students to get
involved in. 

“I think it’s something different,” Fink said. “So far I’ve joined a couple of clubs and it’s definitely something that I think is needed here just across all the different majors and all the different activities. I think it’s really cool for everyone to get involved in.” 

Reiff plans to hold meetings in the spring semester that will center around planning the retreat and will include more team building and bonding activities. The meetings are open to anyone. 

Reuther hopes the club will help participants to meet new people. 

“It just sounds like a good way for people to meet new people, and it can be kind of hard, especially as a freshman,” Reuther said. “So I think it’d be a good club for people who want to make new friends and especially if they like camping.” Reuther said. 

Fink hopes to see the club grow more in the
future. 

“I hope that maybe we can do a couple of excursions and trips a year,” Fink said. “I think that as it grows, get more kids involved, to see it grow.”

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