Around 450 students ate hot dogs and chips while enjoying live music by the band Red Velvet during The Stomp last Tuesday in the Student Union’s Gran Salón.
“What we want them to get to know is that student life is here, is part of UTRGV and that there is going to be a lot of fun things happening not only with our office but collaborations with different departments,” said Cindy Mata-Vasquez, director of Student Activities for the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
Students competed in inflatable obstacle courses and other outdoor games on the Student Union lawn. Upstairs in the Gran Salón they lined up for pizza, hot dogs, chips and lemonade.
Among the student organizations that participated was S.O.U.L. (Student Organization for Unique Learners).
“You can see how much the campus life is growing with the new merge, everybody wants to be involved and it’s a lot of fun,” said special education junior and S.O.U.L. President Susanna Perales. “I hope [the students] get to see what our campus has to offer. Not just with student organizations but also all the resources that they have available for us like health services, graduate programs, something more for them to look forward to.”
Thirty-nine student organizations, campus departments and local businesses handed out treats, T-shirts, pencils and notepads.
“We want them to know what is available to them, what services they want to get to know in the community and then, of course, our local businesses, what they can take from them,” Mata-Vasquez said.
The nonprofit organization La Posada Providencia, an emergency homeless shelter that helps indigent immigrants and asylum seekers in the Rio Grande Valley, recruited volunteers.
“We are always looking for volunteers and I know students are always looking to volunteer, so we just thought it was going to be a good way to get our name out in the community more,” said Adriana Garcia, volunteer coordinator for the shelter.
Guards Bernesha Peters and Idil Türk and forward Hildur Björg Kjartansdóttir, of the UTRGV Women’s Basketball Team, took selfies with students who came up to greet them in the Gran Salón. The athletes and their head coach Larry Tidwell shared team photos and the season schedule at a table in the ballroom.
“I think it’s very welcoming,” Peters said. “It’s very fun, you have a lot of activities, a lot of stands where you get to learn new things and meet new people. They have amazing food. … The music is great as well.”
The Stomp, which was postponed on Aug. 31 due to flooding, wrapped up an hour earlier than planned due to heavy rain.