Free beef and veggie burgers served to students at CSUN’s President Picnic

CSUN president, Dr. Dianne F. Harrison, poses for a photo with members of the CSUN softball team during the annual President's Picnic at the Bayramian Hall Lawn on Aug. 28, 2013. Photo credit: Trevor Stamp / Daily Sundial.
CSUN president, Dr. Dianne F. Harrison, poses for a photo with members of the CSUN softball team during the annual President’s Picnic at the Bayramian Hall Lawn on Aug. 28, 2013. Photo credit: Trevor Stamp / Daily Sundial.

President Harrison welcomed students and teachers back for the fall semester at the President’s Picnic on Wednesday, Aug. 28.

The picnic was held on Bayramian Hall Lawn, and is an annual event that takes place at the beginning of the school year.

“I think it’s a great way to get our new students out, get our current students out, and maybe get to know some new people,” Harrison said. “Our staff and faculty really enjoy volunteering and helping.”

Students and volunteering staff echoed this sentiment and were enthusiastic about the event.

Harrison said that several students had approached her as the picnic was beginning to introduce themselves and thank her. Though many students did complain about the heat.

“If that’s our worst problem we’re okay,” Harrison said.

Free water bottles and soda were handed out to students by faculty and staff. The variety of food consisted of burgers, chili, watermelon and chips. Vegan burgers and vegan chili were also included.

Nearly 140 staff members volunteered for the event, which also offered free live music composed by jazz band in the lawn.

CSUN president, Dr. Dianne F. Harrison meets with C.J. Brown, 26, a recent graduate in Pan-African studies during the Annual President's Picnic on Aug. 28, 2013 at the Bayramian Hall Lawn. Brown says as a member of the CSUN black community, he felt it was important to meet Dr. Harrison. Photo credit: Trevor Stamp / Daily Sundial
CSUN president, Dr. Dianne F. Harrison meets with C.J. Brown, 26, a recent graduate in Pan-African studies during the Annual President’s Picnic on Aug. 28, 2013 at the Bayramian Hall Lawn. Brown says as a member of the CSUN black community, he felt it was important to meet Dr. Harrison. Photo credit: Trevor Stamp / Daily Sundial

“I find it a wonderful opportunity to network with the students, chat with them about their semester, and what’s going on,” said Deborah Wallace, a faculty volunteer who works at the Office of Financial Services.

Paula Cortez, 24, a transfer student majoring in nutrition, was pleasantly surprised by the healthier vegan alternative and said it was delicious. She found the President’s Picnic to be a warm welcome at a time when it’s needed the most, amidst the stresses of beginning at a new school.

Besides the food, everyone also got a free CSUN water bottle and could spin a wheel at the USU table to get a free pen, license plate holder, or candy. The only requirement was signing up for emails, part of an effort to inform people about the USU and what they do.

Lauren Greenberg, 19, a first year liberal studies major, said the picnic was a good way to start the semester.

“I’m excited, I like it, it’s nice – you get free stuff,” she said. “It’s a really welcoming environment.”