Debut cookout provides a meet-and-greet for Valenti students


From left to right: biology and media production senior Krystel Johnson, public relations senior Lillian Lara and Courtney Hall pass out T-shirts to Valenti students at the cookout. Photo by Nguyen Le | The Cougar.

Food and fun welcomed attendees of Jack J. Valenti School of Communication’s first campuswide cookout on Thursday at Wilhelmina Grove.

“We polled students earlier this semester asking what they’d like to see around Valenti more,” said  Valenti Communication Manager LaRahia Smith. “A lot of them express(ed) the need to have a bigger sense of community, saying, ‘Why don’t we have more opportunities for us to gather together, network with each other and socialize?’”

Valenti instructional assistant professor Craig Crowe took on the role of chef at the event.

“We (cooked) hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken,” Crowe said. “We’re (had) a great turnout (and) a beautiful day.”

Integrated communications junior Maria Andrade appreciated the hot dog she got from the grill and the overall atmosphere of the cookout.

“I never heard of it last year,” Andrade said. “It brings communication students together, so it’s a pretty good thing.”

Smith considered the event as a vehicle for UH’s various groups – especially those from the school of communication – to make their presence known.

“(The groups) have tables (at the cookout) so students can talk to them,” Smith said. “We want students to have a small piece of community where you have a shirt that has your school name on it because we didn’t have that before.”

Each shirt has an official logo developed by UH’s marketing and communication team in the front and the school’s social media handle @UHValentiSchool at the back.

“The shirts are amazing,” broadcast journalism junior Courtney Hall said. “(The attendees) are loving them. One person came up to me and said she was dying for a UH shirt and she’s actually in (Valenti) so it’s really cool to have these free shirts to give out to our peers.“

Smith hopes the overall reception toward the event was positive so more cookouts or events can occur in the future.

“I’d love to do a big event like this per semester,” Smith said. “Just seeing more opportunities of not just there being events but having Valenti’s name on them and our students organizing them.”

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