Students Enjoy Free food and Games at Welcome Back BBQ


Students received a warm, grilled welcome at the annual Welcome Back BBQ on Aug. 28. The event, held at the student pavillion featured free food, games and live music.

“[With the BBQ] I’ve really enjoyed Hudson Valley so far. It’s not too crowded and it’s not too far from home so you don’t feel alone,” Casey Houser, Criminal Justice major.

The event was hosted from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. but the food lasted until 1:30 p.m. “The music wasn’t really up to my taste but the food was,” said Jonathan Carroll, Electrical Engineering Technologies major.

Accounting major, Luke Swanson agreed with Carroll, “Free food is what makes any Hudson Valley event what it is.”

The lack of rain made attendees happy, as rain forced Springfest 2014 inside the McDonough Sports Complex last semester. “It’s a nice day. Yesterday I thought it was going to rain but there aren’t any dark clouds in the sky above us. [There are] just clouds everywhere above us,” Elijah Camp, Individual Studies major.

“I encouraged student activities to look at another vendor last year. The games have been not so exciting in the past,” said Ann Carrozza, director of the FSA.

The games were hosted by Aardvark Amusement Ride Rentals, Carnival and Arcade Game Rental Service. Carozza shared, “I talked to Laurie [Taylor] of Student Activities this morning and she said that [the Barbeque] was going well and it’s a big step in terms of the games we’ve had in the past.”

Carnival games at the event included a 14 ft. high striker, ring toss, fat cats, a hoop shot, match the color and frog hop.

Live music for the event was arranged by DJ Vinny Liota of Cool Cat Entertainment, based out of Clifton Park.

“I like that the music isn’t overwhelmingly loud. I can actually hear myself think,” said Amanda Shubert, Dental Hygiene major.

“It’s music we actually listen to; it’s not older music. Sometimes I go to the events and I feel like I’m shopping at Hannaford or something,” commented Rachel Simmons, Business Administration jokingly.

Students like Bruce Moore, Criminal Justice major were not as ecstatic about the music. “This music hurts me. The food isn’t bad. I’m glad they provided activities, cotton candy, caricatures, all of the basics really,” said Moore.

Zachary Morris, CIS major ambivalently stated “[The music] is not really my style but it’s the type you would hear at any of these events. I just wish there was a little more variety.”

Cool Cat Entertainment also hosted live music by Liota at Student Orientation on Aug. 16. Alfredo Balarin, Assistant Director of Student Activities claims that Student Activities has had unsatisfactory results with other entertainment services in the past.

“All the DJs we’ve had in the past were horrible but we’ve definitely made a positive change. [Cool Cat] entertainment is definitely more reputable and better on time,” said Balarin.

The event costed $17,000 in total consisting of $12,000 in food, $4,000 in games and activities and $1,000 in music and giveaways.

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