Annual staff BBQ promotes sustainable socialization, employee engagement

Monday, March 13, 2017

On behalf of Arizona State University President Michael M. Crow, ASU Staff Council hosts annual staff barbecues on four ASU campuses. The barbecues set aside time for staff to get to know each other and learn about resources. 

The event began in the late 1990s when Crow asked that a barbecue be held to honor staff achievements. The first barbecue outgrew the original Old Main area, and since 2011 it is the largest zero waste event each year.

This year’s barbecues drew more than 3,800 attendees, including: 

  • Downtown Phoenix campus: 435
  • Polytechnic campus: 175
  • Tempe campus: 3,000
  • West campus: 250

“The picnic allows us to appreciate staff for their achievements,” said Stephen Potter, Staff Council president. “We also take this time to educate staff on the many opportunities Staff Council and ASU provide to staff year-round.”

The event not only celebrates staff, but educates them about landfill waste diversion. Katie Schumacher, Zero Waste program manager, said despite the large attendance, the 2017 events diverted 94.3 percent of all event waste from a landfill.

“This event was one of the first large-scale university events to incorporate zero waste,” she said.

Vendors, like MidFirst Bank and BC Graphics, provided information. Resources like ASU Employee Wellness, ASU Police Department and Zero Waste at ASU were also in attendance. One group that is always proud to be part of the experience is the ASU Retirees Association (ASURA).

“Not many ASU staff are aware of the ASURA and what it does,” said Barry McNeil, ASURA president. “These barbecues give us an incredible opportunity to alert people to the lasting legacy of Sun Devils.”

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