University of California San Diego (USA) Sixth College Celebrates 20 Years with a Festival on the Green

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It was Friday night and the Sixth College “Green” was alight with a shimmering Ferris wheel, the aroma of buttery popcorn, echoes of an electric guitar and colorful stuffed toys waiting to be won. The vibrant carnival marked a special milestone–the 20th anniversary of UC San Diego’s Sixth College. The “Festival on the Green” was one of several events held in honor of the occasion throughout the fall quarter.

Founded in 2002, Sixth College is known for its focus on culture, art and technology.  “What makes Sixth College special is that it is a tight knit community of innovative, adventurous and caring students, staff and faculty,” said Provost Lakshmi Chilukuri.

The college recently moved into their new home at North Torrey Pines Living Learning Neighborhood, which combines residential spaces, academic departments, classrooms, restaurants and recreation areas all into one neighborhood. Fifth-year student Sina Mokhtarian experienced both the former neighborhood, known as “Camp Snoopy,” and the new space, which he says has only served to enhance residential life.

“My favorite thing is the community; I was scared that during the transfer over here during COVID, that we would lose that sense of community–but if anything it strengthened it,” said Mokhtarian. “Our numbers at events have increased tenfold. We’re getting folks from all over campus, not just Sixth College students.”

His words rang true just by taking a look around during the festival. The wristband line for Sixth College students and those from other colleges were equally long. Students were drawn for the opportunity to jump on a twirling ride, taste the sliders provided by the Triton Eats food truck, get into a pretzel-like shape at Recreation’s aerial silks station and lounge on the grass to listen to live music performed by peers.

Here are some more memorable moments from the Festival on the Green.

Students playing a carnival game, holding water guns and shooting the spray to blow up a balloon until is pops.
Hosted as a traditional carnival, students could play “Balloon Blast,” competing against each other to try to pop the balloon first using a water gun. Winners got to choose one of the coveted stuffed animals as a prize.
A woman hangs upside down using an aerial silk.
Those with an adventurous heart could nurture their inner acrobat by trying poses and movements on an aerial silk, one of many classes offered by UC San Diego Recreation.
A group of students sitting on blankets in the grass listening to live music.
A small concrete stage near the basketball court served as a rocking platform for four student bands to showcase their skills, including Emperor’s Mist, Rose Tinted Glasses, Duck Pals and Shawty Shack.
Four female students perform during the festival as part of the band Shawty Shack.
Live music acts were organized by sophomore Laurel Feldner (pictured singing with band Shawty Shack), who launched the student organization Live at UCSD as a way to sustain a platform for student musicians to perform that had begun organically during the pandemic.  “Local artists deserve a platform,” said Feldner. “Especially at such a STEM-heavy school where a lot of people forget that you are allowed to be a multifaceted person. It gives people a sense of community, creating community through music.”
A student holds a bow with a fake arrow and hides behind an inflatable barrier during a game of archery tag.
Forming teams of four, students wielded bows with arrows fashioned with foam points in a game of archery tag. They ran and ducked behind inflatable barriers, lobbed arrows high to reach their opponents and raced to retrieve their artillery without being struck.
View of students riding the Round Up ride that turns quickly in a circle and tilts to the side.
There is a high likelihood that you’ll get dizzy while riding “Round Up,” but that didn’t stop students from hurrying to secure their spot.
Group of students posing in front of a camera in a photoshoot wearing hats and boas.
Friends clamored to get the goofiest hat they could find–even one resembling the poop emoji–and pose in the photo booth with feather boas, crowns and a range of signs with sayings like “Let’s Get the Party Started” and “Dancing Queen.”
Time lapse image of a ferris wheel with colorful lights blurred.
Students lined up in pairs to secure a seat on the Ferris wheel, offering a relaxing view of the festival throughout the evening.

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