On 20 September 2018, the Student Success Office and Student Activity Council (SAC) held the annual Grade 9 Barbecue in the back field. This event welcomes freshmen to MGCI and gives them a chance to socialize with their peers and meet the Student Council. It is meant to help students adjust to high school by creating a sense of community.

The barbecue started at 11:30 am, when an announcement was made to call Grade 9 students down to the back field. Students were invited to stay throughout lunch. Each student was given a ticket which enabled them to receive a hot dog, a juice box, and a popsicle. These tickets are changed each year to prevent older students from trying to attend to snag free food.

SAC also provided frisbees and arranged a game of tug-of-war to encourage interaction between students. These activities came after Grade 9 students in previous years complained about a lack of interaction between students, who tended to stay in their previously formed friend groups.

Grade 9 students play tug-of-war after having lunch. Image: Jenny Bai

This year, the barbecue was well received by the freshmen, who thought it was a valuable opportunity to form new relationships. When asked about the event, Grade 9 student Osman Chatta said, “The free food was great and I got to meet a lot of people.”

Areez Khaki, the SAC President, said the event went smoothly and had good student participation. However, he recommended that staff participation would be beneficial to help drive student participation and present a more friendly environment.

All in all, the event was well received by students and staff. Students were given a warm welcome and left the barbecue with a strong sense of belonging.