On Thursday, August 24, hundreds of freshman moved into their dorms. The next day, Student Life and Engagement hosted a “Peaycake” dinner for all incoming hopefuls; in order to ease the new students into the campus community.
Although the dinner was held at the Morgan University Center inside the cafeteria, the real event took place in the wall to wall line of hungry, talkative freshman who, in the blink of an eye, befriended the peer behind them just for the sake of passing time.
“That’s what this is all about” Jandro Herrera, the orchestrator of the dinner, said. “[It was about] getting to know people you would have otherwise never met”. This is Herrera’s third year coordinating the Freshman affair for Student Life and Engagement, with the event itself reaching its fifth year of occurrence.
No matter how many familiar faces a student sees on campus, it can be difficult not to feel alone. It is with this mentality that Herrera and his team said they were able to make everyone feel wanted and welcomed. For example, freshman radiology technology major Stephen Reed waited in line for an hour. He said he came to the event for “free food,” but he said he also earned the friendship of three other students waiting for the same food. It was not long before he broke the ice that allowed for the group to exchange social media information, saying “You should follow my spam.”
Similarly, Kelsey Tuel; a freshman Psychological Sciences major, said she believed the overall transition to college was less “overwhelming” because of amazing faculty and staff willing and able to do anything in their power to provide a welcoming environment.
“Now we wait for financial aid to make me this happy,” she said.
The night did not end with pancakes, though. Music played throughout the event, allowing for students and staff to let loose and be in the moment, and the event closed with trivia, or, as undecided freshman Noah Reyes said, “a glimpse of what’s to come.”
Herrera however, said he sees the game as “another great way to make a new friend.”