There is a unique buzz along the University of Rhode Island quad created by the well-received student organization URI Flow. During a stroll through campus, you may see some of its members outdoors doing a variety of activities such as juggling, acrobatics, hula-hooping or even relaxing on a giant swing. “It’s bringing recess to college,” says student Scott Botelho. He founded the group three years ago and has watched it steadily grow in popularity.
In a world where camaraderie and a sense of belonging can be hard to come by, it is a place where acquaintances soon become friends. “It’s the most accepting and diverse group on campus,” he says.
The group follows the motto of flow psychology, which is the idea that people feel and perform their best when they are in a state where everything just flows. This creates an outlet for participation, helping members gain confidence and productivity. The group keeps in touch through year-round meetings, gatherings and its Facebook page, which has more than 500 followers. Members learn skills from each other, explore their own talents and challenge themselves to foster additional strengths and achieve further goals.
One of the ways they show personal growth is by taking the time to help those in need. Uniting with four other groups on campus, Music Guild, Electric Music Association, Brothers on a New Direction and the Student Entertainment Committee, they will co-hosting the open-to-the-public You Are I Fest to benefit the URI Student Food Pantry. The fun takes place on April 12 – 13 from 2:30pm – 12am, right on the quad, and includes something for everyone! There will be vendors, art lessons, yoga, slacklines and giant swings. There will also be plenty of food, music and dance, as well as a clothing exchange and much more! The cost is free, although cash and/or food pantry donations are welcome. Another great way to help is through the GoFundMe page that has been set up for the benefit (bit.ly/you-are-Ifest).
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or catch one of the members having fun on the quad! If you are a student at URI and are dealing with food insecurity or having difficulty making ends meet, help is available from the Rhody Outpost Food Pantry, located at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, 15 Lower College Road, Kingston. Hours of operation are Monday and Friday 3-5pm or by appointment.