Student Trio Organizes First Cookout for New On-Campus Grilling Club

The Colgate Grilling Club held its inaugural meeting on Whitnall Field for experienced and novice grillers alike. A total of 50 students attended the meeting on Friday, Dec. 3 to enjoy the food that Grilling Club organizers sophomores Peter Marks, Thomas Cernosia and Grey Dowd brought and cooked for the group.

The club was originally inspired by the three sophomores’ shared interest in grilling. 

“We were grilling in our free time just for fun because we liked eating grilled food, and it was like a supplement to the dining hall that gave us more variety,” Marks said. “And we thought, why not make this into a club and provide the same opportunities to more students at Colgate.”

According to Student Government Association (SGA) Treasurer of the Budget Allocations Committee (BAC) senior Sukriti Kalra, the BAC can only disperse funds to SGA-recognized clubs and groups. Because the trio tried to register the club after SGA’s Sept. 30 deadline, they were ineligible to apply for recognition or funding during the fall semester. As a result, the three promoted their first meeting through separate advertising campaigns.

“We made an Instagram account [@colgategrillingclub] and tried to advertise and get our friends to spread it,” Marks said.

Marks added that the supplies were purchased locally by the organizers, with help from family members and other student donors.

Prior to forming the Grilling Club, Marks, Cernosia and Dowd admitted having limited experience with grilling.

“I led [the Chinese club] back in high school, so I had some experience with making food for large amounts of people, but not quite grilling,” Dowd said. 

According to Marks, the first meeting of the Grilling Club had a larger attendance than anticipated.

“We had 25 people RSVP, but we had almost 50 people show up to the meeting. And then a lot of people [direct messaged] us on our Instagram account and told us personally that they were sorry they missed it, and that they’d come next time,” Marks said.

Sophomore Matthew Ravaschiere commented on his interest in the Grilling Club, stating that he was excited for a new experience.

“I was never really into [grilling], so I thought it would be interesting to try something new,” Ravaschiere said. “The first meeting was super fun. If you like good food, and good times with good people, then [the] Grilling Club is right up your alley.”

The trio commented on the future of the club, stating that they would like to organize fundraisers for local charities and causes, though specific charities have not yet been selected.

“[Marks] had the great idea of raising money for [community members’] medical costs,” Cernosia said.

“And since we’re a food-based club, we are thinking of maybe also working with local food-based pantries as well,” Marks said.

“We also want to have some annual events. We’re thinking about having a hot dog eating competition next semester at some point,” Dowd said. “We want to see if we can create some sort of culture around [the club] as well, rather than just doing random events.”

Marks, Cernosia and Dowd expressed that they would like to see the club outlast their tenure as Colgate students and be carried on by later classes.  

“Ideally, we’d come back in 10 years, and still see it operating and evolve into some crazy thing,” Marks said.