GPSA welcomes graduate students back with bbq

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GPSA welcomes graduate students back with bbq

“It’s a kickoff to mingle and meet and see new faces and see old friends and come together as graduate professionals,” GPSA Vice President Veneice Guillory-Lacy said Wednesday morning.

“It’s a kickoff to mingle and meet and see new faces and see old friends and come together as graduate professionals,” GPSA Vice President Veneice Guillory-Lacy said Wednesday morning.

COURTESY OF VENEICE GUILLORY-LACY

“It’s a kickoff to mingle and meet and see new faces and see old friends and come together as graduate professionals,” GPSA Vice President Veneice Guillory-Lacy said Wednesday morning.

COURTESY OF VENEICE GUILLORY-LACY

COURTESY OF VENEICE GUILLORY-LACY

“It’s a kickoff to mingle and meet and see new faces and see old friends and come together as graduate professionals,” GPSA Vice President Veneice Guillory-Lacy said Wednesday morning.

ZACH GOFF, Life editor

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Hundreds of graduate students across campus flock to the smells of a barbecue emanating from the roof of the atrium Friday afternoon. The event has a beautiful run, and hundreds of graduate students leave with a free meal and a great way to connect with their peers.

“It really is a chance for graduate professional students to meet each other for the first time, mingle, eat barbecue food and listen to some music,” GPSA Vice President Veneice Guillory-Lacy said.

Rachel Wong, GPSA programming committee chair, said that this first event is consistently one of the biggest turnouts of the year.

While the group is expecting around 500 people to attend, their funds allowed around 300 people to enjoy the kick-off to the semester, Guillory-Lacy said.

“It’s a kickoff to mingle and meet and see new faces and see old friends and come together as graduate professionals,” Guillory-Lacy said.

She said these graduate-geared events are important to ensure that professional students can leave their labs and network with people from other departments.

“It really takes that isolation and independence out and opens that up to network and make new friends,” Guillory-Lacy said.

GPSA focuses its efforts on the graduate students on campus, and part of the reason it puts on events is to make sure people know it is a resource for upper-division students, Wong said.

She also said that GPSA members are active in these events to make sure other students can speak with the current members and reinforce their message.

“Once you get caught up with school, it’s easy to forget where help is when you need it,” Wong said.

The welcome back barbecue has been a staple since 2015 and has consistently grown.

GPSA’s next event is an ice cream social from 12-3 p.m. on Tuesday, Sep. 17 at Ferdinand’s Ice Cream Shoppe, 2035 Ferdinand’s Lane.