EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The Student Veterans Resource Center at Michigan State University is hosting a cookout to welcome military students on Thursday.

The welcome event will also serve as a way to connect these students with military-based staff and showcase the newest resources that MSU provides them.

The cookoff will start at 6 p.m. at the Student Services Building.

This event serves as a way to bring these military-connected students together where they can meet other students like them.

The Student Veteran’s Resource center says they strive to provide these students with a sense of community and belonging.

While creating this welcoming environment, the center says they also wanted to have something fun for these students to look forward to.

The cookout will have Cottage Inn Pizza, entertainment, and special giveaways for students to take advantage of.

MSU has about 2,200 military-based students with 25% of those who are veterans.

The university also has a very high military-dependent student population, with a large majority coming from out of the country.

Organizers say this cookout will help make military students’ transition to the school easier while making them feel like their existence matters.

“It is so impactful to have them have, even if it isn’t a formal mentorship program, to have faculty and staff that they can connect with at the university,” Patrick Forystek, Director of the Student Veteran’s Resource Center. “So again they have that sense of belonging, you know they may not look like other students, they could be 25 and have a spouse and some children, but they feel like they belong here.”