2008 Banquet
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WERC changed things this year.  After enough complaints about the choice of food at the opening banquet in previous years, they did away with serving a meal at all.   Rather, they had us get dinner in the student union's cafeteria and then meet in the ballroom for the opening remarks.   WERC Executive Director Abbas Ghassemi welcomes us, judges and other dignitaries are introduced, and each university's teams are introduced.  At the conclusion of the meeting, the mandatory safety meeting is held with the task team leaders.

 

 

The closing banquet was also different this year, but in the opposite way.  Beginning last year, the closing banquet was moved from a Thursday lunch affair to a Wednesday dinner affair.  Also, because of a conflict in the scheduled use of the traditional student union ballroom, the closing banquet was moved to a ballroom at the Ramada Palms hotel near the NMSU campus.  This, in the opinion of anyone I talked to, made it a MUCH better banquet than any previous one.  The affair is much more relaxed, with people not sitting at the edge of their seats anxious to be on their way home, which was common at the lunchtime banquet. 

 

If anyone at WERC reads this, PLEASE CONTINUE THIS!

 

 

Dan, Cody, Tyler, and Joe, who attempted to get out of the photo and failed.
 
Joe (again, but this time glancing over his shoulder at an apparition of The Thing behind him), Matt, and Kristie.
 
Leigh Ann and Kendra, still working on getting those cricks out.
 
Profs Ridgway and Gulino, and Nick.
 
The Ramada Palms ballroom.
WERC director Abbas Ghassemi at the podium.