A large, hungry crowd gathered around the smell of fresh seafood at the Student Alumni Association’s annual Shrimp Boil, Nov. 5.
“The shrimp is like I used to eat growing up in South Carolina at our beach house,” said Seth Parker, senior in business administration. “It’s cooked the exact same way with the potatoes and corn. It’s wonderful. I’m very impressed with SAA, and it is incredible that it is free.”
The shrimp boil benefits students of SAA and all SAA members.
“The shrimp boil is a great introduction to the Student Alumni Association in the fall,” said Debbie Shaw, vice president of alumni affairs. “It is a benefit to members they don’t have to pay anything to come and eat all the shrimp that they want.”
SAA members said the shrimp boil is their most popular event throughout the entire year.
“We put it on because we know everybody loves shrimp and a good ole country shrimp boil,” said Erin St. John, student alumni board member. “We usually have 300 people come throughout the night. I love the smell, it smells amazing. I know people who get three and four plates of shrimp.”
As a part of football season in the fall, the shrimp boil has turned out to be SAA’s marquee event where the organization tries to engage as many of its members as possible.
The alumni association has a tent at each home game, but this was the student board member’s project.
“It really is a student run event,” said Scott Greenwood, alumni programs coordinator and Student Alumni Association adviser.
SAA has 3,500 members.
The organization ordered enough for 2 ½ pounds of shrimp for each person.
SAA also decided to contribute to the Beat Bama Food Drive, by asking their members to donate canned foods for a free Beat Bama T-shirt.
“We have our Beat Bama T-shirts for SAA members that chose to donate to the Beat Bama food drive,” Greenwood said. “So far we have collected 250 pounds of food just for Beat T-shirts. As an (organization), that’s one real outreach we wanted to add to what we are doing. We’ve been all about the free benefits, but part of why we exist as a student alumni organization is to start learning what it means to be an alumni and that means giving back.”
The shrimp boil was also an opportunity for students and alumni to connect and share experiences.
“It is important because we want students to feel connected to their future and Auburn for a lifetime,” Shaw said. “When students graduate, they will be Auburn alumni and we want them to stay connected to Auburn hopefully forever. Our alumni are in the position to be good mentors to students, and students can learn so much from interacting with alums and gain networks”
Greenwood said the shrimp boil never fails to bring hundreds of students and alumni together and the atmosphere of the shrimp boil is unlike anything Auburn has to offer.
“I’m kind of a sentimental guy, “ Greenwood said. “I’m kind of like a proud papa. I love to see everybody being together and watching the students make it happen.”
Shaw said she agreed her favorite thing about the shrimp boil was the gathering of Auburn students in one place having a good time.
“You can’t beat eating shrimp right here by Jordan-Hare Stadium,” Shaw said. “It is all about Auburn.”