Ryan Chiao

First years donned winter coats and braved 35-degree weather on Old Campus Saturday to eat sausages and cotton candy.

They were drawn out of their Old Campus dorms by a carnival-themed picnic hosted by the First-Year Class Council. This event, called the First-Year BBQ, featured party streamers strung around the statue of Theodore Dwight Woolsey and a face-painting station. Attendees were encouraged to dress up as if it were “a day at Harvard” — in other words, a carnival, according to an FCC representative’s email. A white banner painted with the words “Huck Farvard” covered the ground. According to representative Hanah Jun ’23, the picnic, which was the first classwide event hosted by the FCC, was planned to foster intra-class bonding.

“We really wanted to bring first-year students from all over campus together because there are very few opportunities for us to come together at once,” Jun said. “Especially for those who are not [living] on Old Campus.”

Dash Stevanovich ’23 and Neal Ma ’23 told the News said that they feel many of the events open to first years are restricted to certain colleges. They appreciated that this event allowed them to get to know other members of their class.

According to Sofia Godoy ’23, another representative of the FCC, the event was a success.

“It did a good job achieving what we [the FCC] set out to do — to foster community among [the] first-year class,” she told the News. “A lot of people are introducing their friends to other friends.”

Still, some students’ spirits were dampened by the cold weather on the day. Most wore scarves, hats and gloves, and others were seen shielding themselves from the wind on the steps of Dwight Memorial Chapel. A line quickly formed at the hot chocolate station.

Some students voiced their disappointment that the barbecue was held this late in the semester.

Lucy Santiago ’23 said it was “pretty ironic to have a barbecue on the coldest day here.”

Michaela Markels ’23 also noticed the chilly weather, but explained, “it’s only going to get colder, so if you’re going to do something, do it now!”

Macaroni and cheese, Beyond Meat sausages, cookies, brownies and pulled pork were catered by Yale Dining. Student opinion on the selection was mixed.

Nicole Marino ’23 told the News that she was pleased that the event served Beyond sausages for those with dietary restrictions. Still, Talat Aman ’23 said he felt that the variety of meat options was limited.

“My Muslim friends and I only have vegan options because pork is against Islam,” he said.

On the day of the event, residential college dining halls were closed to first years for brunch. As a result, the barbecue was the only option for hungry first years in the late morning. Some students were disappointed with the amount of food.

Tilden Chao ’23 and James Leung ’23 both arrived shortly after the barbecue began. They assumed more food would come out as time passed, but later discovered it was a first come, first served setup.

“I had hope until they took the tables down,” Chao said.

The FCC is made up of two representatives from each residential college.


Ryan Chiao | ryan.chiao@yale.edu

Alex Martin | alex.martin@yale.edu

Ryan Chiao currently serves as a Sports Editor for the Yale Daily News. He previously was as a Photo Editor and covered swimming and diving, women's lacrosse and the athletic administration as a staff reporter. Originally from Hong Kong, he is a junior in Benjamin Franklin College majoring in Global Affairs.