Photo by Elizabeth Harman/The Siskiyou
Master chef and psychology major James Brown cooks up patties for the Ghetto Fabulous BBQ held in commemoration of Gladys Jimenez at the Stevenson Union on Wednesday afternoon.
The smell of barbecue tickled noses and taunted taste buds of students passing by when the Gender Sexuality Union held a fundraiser for the family of SOU student Gladys Jimenez, who died after being struck by a car while crossing Siskiyou Boulevard in February.
The barbecue was held on Wednesday, April 16 in the SU courtyard and was titled the "Gladys' Ghetto Fab BBQ."
Pam Ogren, GSU advisor, explained that the idea for the barbecue stemmed from Jimenez herself. Jimenez had told a story about her family's "ghetto barbecues." The family would open the garage, move all the furniture outside onto the lawn, blast music, make food and have a good time.
Similarly, the GSU moved furniture out into the SU courtyard and played Jimenez's favorite music throughout the entire event.
Services for Jimenez were held roughly two months prior to the barbecue. At the time of the services, the GSU thought the family would be undertaking significant costs as they had to travel to Ashland and pay for food and lodging.
With this in mind, the GSU decided on a fundraiser where the proceeds would go directly to the family, but because of the difficult situation, they decided to wait to have it.
"It's been about two months since, and the GSU feels like it's a special point to start remembering Gladys," Ogren said.
The menu at the barbecue consisted of hamburgers, veggie burgers, potato salad and drinks. Plates sold for $4.
Volunteers from the GSU, Associated Students of Southern Oregon University and different resource centers helped run the event.
When asked about Jimenez's membership in the GSU, Ogren replied that the GSU does not have a strict membership list, but that she was an important member of the SOU community and had many friends in the GSU.
"[They wanted to sponsor] an event to help the campus celebrate Gladys' life and start to heal," said Ogren.
A water balloon fight and a Native American Student Union drum circle were scheduled to be held during the barbecue as well. The atmosphere was cheerful.
"She would have liked this, I think," said Ogren.