Up to 3,500 students are expected to clamor around the resources tables and cheer for on-stage performers while enjoying a free barbecue lunch Oct. 2 at the Cal State East Bay 25th Annual al Fresco. Festivities run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The yearly celebration welcomes new and returning CSUEB students back for fall quarter, while making them aware of the range of clubs, activities and university services available to help them make the most of their college experience.
For the first time, last year’s event was held in the courtyard adjacent to the Art and Education Building (AE), a spacious site that worked so well in accommodating the multiple activities and entertainment associated with al Fresco that it again will serve as the venue, said organizer Marguerite Hinrichs, director of Student Life and Leadership.
The 2013 al Fresco theme is Pioneering a Legacy.
“There are a lot of things going on at Cal State East Bay,” Hinrichs said. “We took down Warren Hall. We’re Division II now; we’re doing well in Athletics.
“Cal State East Bay is on its way to becoming a first choice university and residential campus,” she said. “It’s all about celebrating our Pioneer pride and understanding that we’re growing and changing.”
Remarks from President Leroy Morishita will kick off the celebration, followed by live entertainment by student talent. Genres on display will range from spoken word and singing to dance performances and a routine by the cheerleading squad. Student-athletes will also be introduced to attendees.
In keeping with longstanding al Fresco tradition, lunch will be grilled and served up by volunteer staff and faculty. Employees interested in performing or volunteering at al Fresco may contact organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Historically, the event was held in the amphitheater on the north end of the Hayward campus but was moved to the walkway in front of the bookstore to offer improved accessibility. Last fall, however, al Fresco was organized in conjunction with the faculty honors convocation and investiture of President Morishita and moved to the AE courtyard. The site was a hit with attendees and those who promoted their co-curricular activities and services along the walkway leading to the entertainment lawn, Hinrichs observed.
Students browsing through the informational tables get a chance to learn about groups and programs such as the gospel choir, Student Veterans Organization, bible study groups, International Students Program, the Muslim Student Association, College Link and dozens more.
"Al Fresco is really about the students and the free resources and giveaways for them," Hinrichs said.
In a further nod to the 2013 Pioneering a Legacy theme, the event will include activities that pay tribute to the recently demolished Warren Hall administrative building.
“There are going to be lots of subtle and not-so-subtle references to commemorate Warren Hall,” Hinrichs said. “People will have an opportunity to knock down Warren Hall one more time.”