New Mizzou Engineering students gathered in Peace Park on Thursday for the College of Engineering’s annual New Student BBQ. Sponsored by the Mizzou Engineering Student Council, the event drew a crowd of undergraduates eager to learn more about involvement opportunities on campus.
While enjoying classic cookout fare, new students were invited to chat more about engineering opportunities available outside of the classroom. Mizzou Engineering’s more than 50 student organizations set up table displays to educate prospective members.
“The New Student BBQ is great,” WET Co-President Alyssa Voekel said Thursday. “It allows all engineering students a chance to get involved and find out what they’re interested in.”
According to fellow WET Co-President Demmi Christensen, the night has real impact.
“It’s a good way to join a club and not only network, but also meet people in your degree that you can be friends with and study with, which is important,” she said. “For me, it took a few years to make engineering friends, and my studies became a lot easier once I did.”
WET’s mission is to promote the environment, with an emphasis on bettering water quality in the Columbia community. As a leader of the org, Voekel was looking to recruit more students with the same passion — a theme that became apparent among both attendees and club leaders.
“We want to reach out more,” treasurer for the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Victoria Sanchez said. “Even though we’re a diversity group, we include all. It doesn’t matter if you’re Caucasian, Asian, it doesn’t matter. We want to make sure this lives on, because engineering is powerful.”
For Alpha Omega Epsilon member Kristina Taylor, it was this very event years before that kicked off her college career. “Part of the experience is getting involved and meeting people, and the best way to do that is joining an organization if you’re in the College of Engineering,” she said. “My freshman year, I didn’t know any engineers whatsoever, so I came here. All my best friends came from AOE, and now I have this BBQ to thank for that.”
Students such as Ellie Snoke and Brandon Johnston were not only excited by the good food and friendly people, but the information. “I’ve learned so much in a quick five minutes. It’s been really helpful,” Johnston explained.
Meanwhile, for freshman and Columbia native Marlon Guzman, the event was a long-awaited introduction into the world of college engineering. “I’ve known about some of the organizations around here, but I’ve never really explored them,” Guzman said. “This is a good way for me to get out of my shell and actually get involved. In high school, I had been waiting to get into all this, so this is it.”