Isabel Shaw, Staff Writer for The Current student newspaper
“We are back!”
That was the message BCC Student Life Board President Dominic Sama delivered to the crowd at a free Welcome Back Barbecue Tuesday, Sept. 13, marking the first campus-wide event Student Life and Activities (SLA) held for the Fall 2022 semester.
Judging from the crowd in the Collins Arena, hundreds of students are eager to return to in-person events at Brookdale. Sama said he is “cautiously optimistic” that the COVID-19 interruptions over the past two years are now behind us.
“I’m really happy with the turnout,” said Sama, a political science major, Class of 2023, from Long Branch, as he noted the full parking lot and saw groups of students entering the arena before the event’s scheduled start time.
Ewurafua (Effi) Acquaah, a humanities major and secretary of the Student Life Board, shared Sama’s enthusiasm. “I am so happy I had the opportunity to plan today’s event. We just switched the venues yesterday because we thought it was going to rain, but despite that major last-minute change, the barbecue has been a huge success.”
The event had a “Boardwalk – Life’s a Beach” theme and featured a mechanical shark that tested riders’ balance (inflated mats provided for safety), a ring toss, a Zap-A-Mole game and more boardwalk-style activities.
Student takeaways included a “Life’s a Beach” towel, journals, mugs and a handy, compacted reusable shopping bag.
DJ Sanjai Rambhadijan of Dj Skillz had students dancing as they waited on the line to get their food.
Also on hand were Jane Tully and Patricia Supplee from the League of Women Voters. Introducing “Art the Vote,” an initiative to engage young voters through artistic expression.
Perhaps the most popular item was the “Best Day Ever” Ice Cream truck parked just outside the arena offering a variety of frozen ice-cream treats to students. While the line was long, students didn’t seem to mind waiting.
So what does it take to plan an event like this?
“Teamwork is essential,” Sama said. “All the members on the Student Life Board and the Executive Board work together. We all contribute ideas, and we all decide the event, the activities within the event, the food and how best to facilitate its success.”