Each September, the College of Communication (COM) Graduate Affairs team organizes a “Welcome Back” event for new and returning graduate students. This year, the event took place Friday, September 21, at Game On, the sports bar connected to Fenway Park.
Starting at 6 p.m., students made their way downstairs to the private bar, where the event was being held.
Each student collected two drink tickets at the door before joining friends old and new, as well as professors and COM faculty inside.
Attendees caught up on their semesters as they helped themselves to pizza and ordered drinks from the bar. The venue also featured games, such as cornhole and ping-pong, providing the perfect ice breakers. Many students were especially excited to have access to the Red Sox’s own batting cage.
This is the second year the team has held the event at Game On, having previously been held at COM. Graduate Affairs aims to host the event a few weeks into the fall semester.
“We hope that by doing it in the third week it gives people some time to settle in, and maybe make a few friends to walk in with. That said, you definitely could walk in here alone and meet new friends,” said Assistant Director of Graduate Affairs Kayla Ring.
This setting, added Ring–complete with food, drinks, and games–allows for new and returning students from every program to mingle.
“COM is a really social school, but this event allows people to get to know each other better outside of their programs,” Ring said. “We have some faculty who come, so students can get to know them a little better outside of the classroom setting.”
Riti Shah, a public relations student in the final semester of her graduate program, echoed these thoughts.
“It’s so beneficial for students to come to these kind of nights,” Shah said. “This is where you actually meet your classmates outside of the classroom zone. You meet lots of people that you don’t take classes with. It’s a fun, laid back event and allows you to know how friendly and genuine the people are around you.”
Shah, who also attended the event last year, returned this year because she particularly wanted to meet some new graduate students.
Jason Mericle, studying emerging media, is one of those new COM graduate students. He recently moved to Boston from Texas.
“It’s been really good,” he said, talking about his first few weeks at Boston University. “It’s a lot of work, obviously, but I’m learning a lot–about some really interesting topics.”
Mericle came to the Welcome Back event with some classmates, and they spent the night having fun playing games together.
“We’ve played ping-pong,” he laughed. “We’re not good at it. And we’ve played cornhole, and we’re not very good at that either. It’s been fun.”
Sadie Devane, Staff Writer
Sadie Devane is a second-year graduate student in COM’s advertising program. Originally from southeast Ireland, Sadie traveled to Dublin to study Visual Communication at the National College of Art and Design before coming to Boston University. An art director and designer by nature, Sadie currently interns at Arnold Worldwide while completing her master’s degree.