The smell of baby back ribs welcomed The Master’s College students as they entered Oak Manor on a Friday afternoon. Hosted by the Off Campus staff, the BBQ Dinner offered an afternoon of fun and fellowship.
Immediately after work, Steve Ross rushed to Oak Manor, fired up the grill, and began barbequing on the patio. He worked alongside TMC junior Cari Logston, who decorated cupcakes.
In previous years, the off-campus leadership team was larger, allowing for greater planning and executing of events. This year, the team consists only of Ross, the resident director of commuter life and Logston, the off-campus commuter assistant. Several weeks before the event, the two brainstormed ideas for a large semester event. They settled on the BBQ Dinner.
This was the first off-campus event of the semester. Although difficult to execute with only two team members, student volunteers like off-campus junior Jessica Alamilla are a great help.
Oak Manor and Ross’ apartment have been inviting places for TMC students. Around 4 p.m, Ross, Ross’ family, Logston, and Alamilla greeted the students as they witnessed a patio full of food.
Ross’ ribs were the affair of the night. His son, Justus Ross echoed this feeling.
“Those ribs were gone super-fast. I didn’t even get to have my last one,” he said.
The afternoon consisted of food and music for students who lived on and on campus. It gave them a chance to catch up with friends and to get to know new people. Living off-campus presents TMC commuters with the tough problem of getting involved. On a typical Tuesday, immediately following work, Alamilla scrambles to school. After classes, she heads home to finish her homework.
This atmosphere is exactly what the students needed.
“This is so fun. It’s nice to see people outside of campus. I love just seeing everyone out of the pressure of school,” Alamilla said.
Logston shared Alamilla’s enthusiasm.
“I was really excited for the BBQ. I just wanted to be able to get as many commuters out as possible, usually because many of them do have commitments. I wanted to reach out to the smaller number and give them a chance to make friends,” Logston said.
The BBQ Dinner fulfilled this need.
“It was a desire to get everyone you don’t usually see, together,” Ross said.
Next year, the leadership team will expand to include seven new members. Chosen by Ross, these individuals parallel Logston’s and Alamilla’s aspiration to see a greater execution of similar events. This passionate team will be ready to manage the 250 off-campus students.
By Keylin Portillo