The first point is likely the most obvious and actually comes from an email our assistant principal just sent. It turns out that if you want everyone to come hang out together, just a little bit of food will do the trick. It works so well, you'll be able to attract people that don't even like food. Personally, I never care for breakfast, but if there's a free spread in the cafeteria to start the morning, I'll be sure to stop down. Sometimes our staff breakfasts or chili-lunches are the only times we get a chance to get out of the rut of our day and talk to other departments. Everyone has to eat sometime, so you might as well enjoy it.
Additionally, good causes always bring out the energy from even the most cynical of humans. The bulk of the male popular shuns pink for 11 months out of the year, but every October, they're all on board. The students at Penn State risk getting run over by traffic to raise money for their Thon event. And of course, the regularly studious staff at Baldwin busts out their creative confluence each October 31 for the Halloween Turkey Fund event. There's something about a Good Cause (or at least a group-acknowledged Good Cause) that brings everyone out of the woodwork. In case you missed it, today was our Halloween day at BW.
The final point is a bit more obscure but something I've noticed for a while: saying "God Bless You" when someone sneezes somehow trumps all other social conventions. Whether you're at a Pirates playoff game, or taking a test in class, or out to dinner with friends, or at a funeral, if someone sneezes, everyone automatically jumps in with "God Bless You", no matter how awkward or out of place if might be. No one cares if you burp, or cough, but the second you sneeze, expect an immediate rush of validation. It's not as fun as food, or as important as a Good Cause, but sneezing is just as potent at uniting the factions.
So there you have it. Three key ways to promote unity...all of which happened at work today thanks to our administrative team, NHS sponsor and organizers, and bits of particulate in the air which irritated peoples' nostrils (respectively). If you're looking for ways to unify, check out those three first. If you need more, let me know and I'll see what I can do.