Students are back on campus, and to kick things off, Student Activities Board (SAB) is hosting its annual Kickoff Cookout, but with a twist.
To bring a fresh feel to this classic event, SAB is hosting the cookoff — now called “Baw Beese BBQ” — at Baw Beese lake, instead of Hayden Park.
The goal, junior and SAB small event team leader Claire Lupini said, is to bring new students to the beloved area earlier in their Hillsdale experience.
The event will be hosted at Owens Memorial Park at Baw Beese at 6 p.m. on Friday, August 30.
Lupini said students are at Hayden Park a lot in the first few weeks of school, since many student groups host their initial events there. Additionally, she said, freshman often don’t know about Baw Beese, so this allows them to start experiencing more of Hillsdale right away.
Being at the lake also means students will get to dip their toes into sports other than volleyball: SAB will be bringing paddle boards and kayaking equipment.
“SAB is bringing paddleboards, so we’re definitely changing the pace of the event,” Lupini said. “It’s more of a relaxed, vacation vibe now.”
Part of this vacation vibe includes decorating with tiki torches, and students are encouraged to wear their favorite Hawaaiian shirts.
Despite adding new events, SAB is still keeping all the favorite activities. Lupini said they knew how important volleyball was to the integrity of the annual cookout, so they bought a net and volleyball to ensure the tradition can live on at the new location.
The cookout is always a good place for students to reunite with friends, Lupini said, especially since Welcome Party is very lively and hectic. The barbeque is intentionally more relaxed, providing a place for people to reconnect with those they haven’t seen since the previous school year.
Junior Taryn Murphy has attended the kickoff cookout the last two years and said she is excited to see it change locations. She never visited Baw Beese until her sophomore year, so she said she appreciates that SAB is trying to bring freshman out so soon in their time at Hillsdale.
“It’s such a beautiful place to hammock or play volleyball,” Murphy said. “And I’m looking forward to spending time with friends in a new setting with new activities.”
To compensate for the farther distance, there will be a van at Lane Hall and Baw Beese every half hour from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. to transport students to and from the cookout.