Students from both the dormitories and the community united at Zone restaurant Saturday night, October 12, to celebrate the commencement of a new school year. Although the academic semester began three weeks ago, the Student Association wanted to use the night as a means to make students feel officially welcome and to celebrate the unity they hope to share throughout the year. The night included a multiple-course meal, lots of socializing, and live music.
“We as SA prepared the student welcome party basically to make our students know they are indeed welcome and to have them integrated into our academic community”, said Alex Podbrezsky, the SA faculty sponsor. “The SA was very good in organizing this and we’re hoping that the same zeal and level of anticipation is shown for planned events in the future.”
The Welcome Party began at 8:30 p.m. as students partook of a variety of traditional Lebanese dishes. Students wore semi-formal attire for the banquet whose environment was notably festive. Participants evidently enjoyed one another’s company, as the festivities lasted into early the next morning.
Zone, the previously mentioned manoushee restaurant located in Mansourieh that served as the event’s venue, was chosen because of its location, food, atmosphere, and service. It’s located on a serene hill overlooking the beautiful Beirut skyline, and it perfectly suited the student activity. “We tried to figure out a suitable place for both eating and music”, said SA Social Activities Coordinator Bassam Abdalla. “We asked students about it and a high percentage of students attended, meaning that they must have liked the location we chose.”
The SA feels that the event was successful, as Abdalla has noticed students already giving members positive feedback. “They said they enjoyed getting to know each other better, in addition to the food and the music.” A lively local Lebanese singer, who got the audience clapping and participating in the performance, provided the entertainment at the start of the night. Later on in the evening, the vocalist gave way to a DJ playing traditional Arabic tracks.
The event was largely part of an SA initiative to plan more social activities throughout the course of the year. SA members, alongside their faculty sponsor, plan on taking feedback from the event, both positive and negative, into consideration when planning future events. “Most of [the students in attendance] thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Throughout the evening they expressed a wish to see more activities organized by SA”, reiterated Podbrezsky.
The Student Association is already making plans to follow through with student-expressed desires for more planned activities. Plans are currently underway for a biking trip early next month, in addition to Christmas festivities. MEU’s SA is always open for suggestions and encourages individuals to contact one of their officers or SA Sponsor for proposals. The Student Association is excited about planning upcoming events, and they look forward to even more student participation in the future.
Written by Chandler Jordana
Photos by Ryan McCabe