OGISL vows to “step it up this year” for Graduate Appreciation Week

Charger Connection is regularly updated to advertise a multitude of events for University of New Haven students to attend. However, many of these events are geared toward undergraduate students, even going as far as to be in a category specifically for that group. As of Tuesday, April 11 there are 42 events in the graduate category, being hosted until May 3; the same number of undergraduate events will be held by April 16.
The small ratio of graduate to undergraduate events is disheartening. According to student body statistics from the spring 2022 semester, the university has a population of 5,023 undergraduate students and 2,490 graduate students.
Despite graduate students making up a small percentage of the university, the Office of Graduate and International Student Life (OGISL) is working to show appreciation for those that may not feel acknowledgement of their place at the university.
April 10 marked the beginning of the 10th annual Graduate Appreciation Week (GAW) when OGISL hosts a variety of events in honor of their graduate population.
The GAW Kickoff at the Alumni Lounge on Monday provided a calm beginning to the festivities. A cheese and meat platter fed the graduate student attendees while they enjoyed violin music and chatted with one another.
Steven Macchiarolo, the director of OGISL, said, “we’re very excited to see the program kind of grow and turn into what it is today.” He was ecstatic to see their engagement numbers go up from last year, demonstrating the popularity of the events across the university.
Macchiarolo also said that he wants all students to attend each other’s events, regardless of graduate status, so nobody is left out. Inviting everyone to these GAW events allows undergraduate and graduate students to mingle and enjoy the events with one another.
For those that were not afraid to venture off campus for some adventure, there were multiple chances to get some fresh air and explore. Foodies got the chance to participate in a pizza crawl, visiting different pizzerias in the area such as Frank Pepe’s, Sally’s and Zuppardi’s.
On Friday, students were also able to visit the wonderful world of Broadway in New York with a trip to see “MJ: The Musical.” Thrill-seekers had the chance to go to Six Flags New England on Saturday and go on various rides such as the Tomahawk, a ride that you can swing back and forth in a mechanical, well, tomahawk.
At-home events also took place for those that wished to stay on campus but also enjoy themselves. There was a Sip ‘n Paint on Wednesday evening in the German Club that served as a moment for students to enjoy an alcoholic beverage and express themselves creatively.
The finale event on Sunday night was the largest, taking place at North Campus to fit all the performances, activities and attendees. OGISL was able to pull in some amazing talents to attend and entertain.
Some of the talent included Long Island-based comedian Andrew Washington, “Voicetramentalist” and actor Michael Winslow (“Spaceballs”) who can imitate more than 1,000 voices and “The Clairvoyants” duo Amelie van Tass and Thommy Ten, who are world-renowned mentalists that appeared on “America’s Got Talent.”
Macchiarolo’s vow to “step it up this year” is visible in this year’s GAW events. Appreciation for the university’s graduate students could not have been pulled off if not for OGISL and its dedicated staff.