Students and faculty alike kicked back to relax last Thursday at Southwestern Community College Macon Campus’ “Welcome Back!” event.
From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., nearly 300 students of all ages gathered behind SCC’s Macon Campus to celebrate their return to school. Hot dogs, classic rock, games and swag were all among the perks afforded students at the Sept. 8 soiree.
“This is pretty great,” said MEC student Russell Helma, who was doing the limbo at the party with more than a dozen of his classmates. “We don’t get to do stuff like this every day. It’s a good way to start back at school.”
For MEC Principal Todd Gibbs, who took on the duty of cooking scores of hot dogs for the event-goers, the gathering was largely a way for students to connect with one another. “It’s a welcoming back kind of thing. It’s our fourth cook out… We have one every spring and fall and have a good time. It’s good for the MEC kids to mingle with the SCC adult students,” he said.
“Well I think it’s important for building a community,” said SCC Dean Phil Weast of the event. “For those coming to Macon today, they are building friendships and a community with one another. They are having fun and that’s just cool,” he said, pointing out a group of students playing tug of war.
The large turnout for the event was an indication that the Macon Campus was growing, according to Weast, who reported that the current fall semester saw its highest enrollment. “We have about 467 students this fall, and about 140 of those are MEC students. Macon is growing,” he said, adding that Jackson County’s campus is seeing its second largest record enrollment this year. “Last fall was the first time SCC had over 2,700 students.”