GPSS welcomes 500 at annual fall social


Kelby Wingert/Iowa State Daily

Blake Vida talks with Jennifer Carne and Brandon Woods, all graduates in veterinary medicine, at the annual Graduate and Professional Student Senate Fall Social on Friday, Sept. 6, at Brookside Park in Ames. Approximately 500 graduate and professional students attended the event.

Lissandra.Villa And

The Graduate and Professional Student Senate welcomed approximately 500 people at its 2013 Annual Fall Social. The event, open to graduate and professional students and their families, was Friday at Brookside Park.

Instead of holding the event independently, it was grouped with a new event, graduate student orientation, which is cohosted by the Graduate College and GPSS. The orientation took place on Thursday evening.

“It was a lot of fun. It was great to interact with some of my colleagues in the vet medical school, and then also to meet a few new faces in other programs,” said Brandon Woods, second-year graduate in veterinary medicine.

Woods attended the event for the second year in a row, and he said he plans on returning.

“There was a lot of mingling going on, a lot of talking at the tables, there was volleyball, and everyone was smiling and having a good time,” Woods said. “A lot of international students were also there. That was a good representation, I thought.”

The GPSS executive board took the opportunity to introduce itself and describe its organization, explaining what each of the members present was in charge of.

GPSS is an organization that serves as a representative body for graduate and professional students. 

Additionally, it allocates money to graduate and professional student organizations.

The meal was run primarily by student volunteers who served the attendants the food they prepared.

“It was a little tough at first because I’m a brand new grad student, and I didn’t know anybody there, but after floating around and introducing myself to some people, I found kind of a quick, immediate friend group,” said David Hufnagel, graduate in bioinformatics and computational biology. “They came from really different backgrounds, so that was interesting.”

The event is meant to promote networking among the graduate students in addition to welcoming them into the new semester.

“It’s a good opportunity to meet people in general, and I was glad to have that resource this year as a new student,” Hufnagel said. “I would like to be there to smooth [the transition] for somebody else next year.”

The GPSS socials occur twice a year, one in each semester.