Stairway Conversations: GEL

It’s that time of year again: GEL! And, for those of you who don’t know, it’s Gonzaga Experience Live. This weekend, the Gonzaga community gets to welcome over 600 admitted students and over 500 parents & family members to campus.


Date: April 15, 2016

Building: Hemmingson

Staircase: Hemmingson Rotunda



Person 1: “Woah. Those are big.” *Points to large signs in Hemmingson*


Indeed, the Hemmingson Center (THC?) did create huge banners and that spell out GEL, just like they did for Fall Family Weekend. And, while the orange-ish hue of the banners that are reminiscent of fall, they still will do the weekend justice. And, considering this is the first year Hemmingson will function as a hub for GEL, it’s sure to be a pretty official looking weekend.

Last year’s GEL weekend was the biggest that Gonzaga had ever seen – far exceeding 500 students. As unprecedented as that number was, there seemed to not be too much concern of it happening again. Well, we were all super wrong. This year, Gonzaga is setting another record of 600 plus students.


I never went to GEL weekend as an admitted student, but, as an ambassador, I’ve had the privilege of experiencing another side of GEL – and, arguably, and equally as meaningful one. For ambassadors, GEL weekend is an end of the year culmination for us – a weekend where we all get to put on one huge event together.

That being said, there are a lot of opinions about GEL. I know people that love it (the ones that host students), people that hate it and people that are pretty indifferent to it. Last year, and I am sure this year, too, there are going to be numerous students that get upset that they can’t eat in the COG at a normal time. To those people: I think it’ll be OK – you’ve been given plenty of warning and, honestly, it’s only one meal.


I also know that having another 1100 people on campus can be stressful – especially because of the nice weather (everyone will be outside). And, on top of that, Gonzaga pretty much turns into a crowded tourist city. To those people: I completely get that (really). But try and think back to when you were an incoming student – this weekend may be a deciding factor in these students next four years of life.


And, to everyone: GEL is a pretty cool weekend. It can be hectic. It can be fun. It can be inspirational. So, as Gonzaga starts to welcome perspective students on campus for a quick taste of what it means to be a Zag, lets to our best to really show them what that means.


Categories: Campus Life

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