Students gather to enjoy food and games at Welcome BBQ

Welcome BBQ 2022

August 23, 2022

By Walter Ryce

On the Friday and Saturday of Aug. 19 and 20, students moved into on-campus housing, often accompanied by family and friends. 

They were all invited to the following Sunday afternoon’s Welcome BBQ on the grassy Main Quad to kick things off right for the new academic year. 

For freshman students, the day started with the rally-like energy of  Convocation at the recreation field behind the North Quad. There, they participated in ice-breaker games like Ultimate Rock-Paper-Scissors, connected with and learned more about each other, and heard a rousing speech from the new president, Vanya Quiñones (who is also a neurobiologist). 

“Her speech was phenomenal,” said Kaci Turpin, a program specialist with First Year Experience. “Short and to the point. She connected with students who might have imposter syndrome, and said her office is open if anyone needs help on their neurobiology homework.”

Then the students were ushered over to the main quad where tables and chairs were arranged in the middle of the lawn on the quad. 

Adjacent to that were the food stations where workers plated up hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, beans, coleslaw, watermelon and cookies. A band, Everyday People, featuring two CSUMB alums, played Latin jazz, R&B, old school, funk, Tejano style cumbias, and classic covers on nearby stage. CSUMB’s Recreation Department stocked the festival with inflatable carnival games (including inflatable axe throwing), and lawn games like bean bag toss and spike ball. 

Danika Bralek, a senior who had just moved into Promontory the day before, was eating at a table while listening to the band. 

“Move-in was pretty smooth,” Bralek said. “This year I’m trying to be more social, join clubs and branch out. There’s so much going on now on campus. I’m looking into a stargazing club, which I’m super interested in. Or surfing.” 

She said the BBQ was “awesome” and she liked the free stuff that different vendors and university organizations were giving away. 

Over at the Otter Student Union, the game room was full of students and visitors playing foosball, pool, ping-pong, console video games, board games, Dance Dance Revolution, and card games like Uno. 

Shyam Patel, a computer science major, was hanging out outside the game room on the balcony overlooking the campus. He said that since he began at CSUMB, it’s been improving year over year.

“Just the campus experience, events, new buildings, the shuttle bus,” Patel said. 

He appreciated the BBQ in that it offered him and his friends a chance to hang out over a free lunch. 

“You can talk to people. It’s a good event before classes, to start with a joyful mood, a fresh start.”