BCM cooks out, offers games


Photo by: Kyle Graham

International students enjoy playing cornhole and socializing during cookout hosted by BCM. Students play other games such as archery tag.

Catherine Hyman, Assistant Editor

Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM) hosted a cookout during Welcome Week and invited all students to enjoy free food and fellowship. The cookout was held on the Smith University Center (UC) lawn and included activities such as archery tag, ultimate frisbee and volleyball.

During the event, BCM members worked to gather attendees’ contact information for future events, give away items advertising BCM, serve food and maintain the activity areas.

According to one student who attended, freshman Taylor Barefoot, the cookout provided an opportunity to meet other students in an environment that made her feel comfortable.

“This was the most enjoyable Welcome Week event I attended because it makes it easier to meet and connect with other Christians on campus,” Barefoot said. “I met Anna McCarley during BCM events this week. Meeting someone in the nursing program, someone who can answer questions, is encouraging.”

Kendal Danford, BCM’s campus minister and director, said that the reason the group was able to hold an event on campus during Welcome Week is because the organization was named Student Organization of the Year for the 2016-2017 academic year.

According to Danford, the cookout was planned with the goal of outreach. The organization wanted to hold an event for a large group of students to gather together and make connections.

“People like to eat food and have fun,” Danford said. “That’s always a good way to get people out. Once they are out, they can enjoy all the activities and join in conversation. We want them to feel welcome.”

Myg Hitzler, foreign exchange student from Universität Trier in Germany, said she attended the event because she was invited by Lauren Owens, international student liaison and BCM president. Although the event is unlike most events held at her university, Hitzler said she enjoyed herself.

“I came by to talk to people and meet people,” Hitzler said. “Germany is not like this. It is not very religious in Germany. I like that there are many things to do tonight.”

Events like the cookout are often attended mainly by resident students, Danford said. He said it can be hard to get commuting students at evening events because they leave campus earlier. Barefoot said that since she is a commuting student and has a one-hour commute, she finds it more difficult to get involved and meet people.

“It feels a lot harder to meet people when you commute and want to go home after classes,” Barefoot said. “I’m glad I came to BCM’s events.”

According to Danford, people bond through activities or conversation, so he planned an event focused on each of these types of bonding. He said he hopes that this event will encourage a diverse group of students to attend BCM throughout the academic year.

A BCM regular, junior math major Jonathan Britt, said he attended the cookout for both the conversation and the activities.

“I wanted to visit with friends and support BCM, and of course, play archery tag,” Britt said. “My first time at BCM was when I was invited freshman year. It’s a really good because it gets you plugged in with good, solid friends you can trust.”

According to Danford, his goal at BCM is to encourage diversity and acceptance among attendees, making everyone feel welcome and at home.

“BCM is open to everybody, and there are no dues to pay here,” Danford said. “We want to include all types of people here, everyone. No matter if you’re from a small or big town, no matter gender, race or anything. The diversity you see when walking on campus between classes is the diversity we want to see at BCM.”

Danford said that he actively chooses a variety of activities, food and music so that everyone will find something that interests him or her.