I have just started a job 4 days ago (hooray!). The model of my team is a "startup within a big corporation," so we work in a coworking space separate from the main campus, people are in and out a lot, and the environment is very casual.
Yesterday we got an email from the administrative assistant asking for our availability in two weeks' time for a "digital team celebration," which would be "a group outing, ½ day in the afternoon and a group dinner." (I believe that one of our counterparts from outside the US will also be in town for that week, so extra-big deal.) I responded that I take a class on Thursday nights, so I would prefer any other night. The class is a foreign language that I take for personal reasons, not related to work. It is very important to me and difficult to miss, and it is the only night of the week I'm regularly unavailable.
Unfortunately, today I got the calendar invite from the administrative assistant and it is set for a Thursday, 12 PM-8 PM. She said more details were forthcoming. My class is at 5:30 PM, very close to work.
Is there any way that I can gracefully do the half-day activity and skip the dinner part, which I imagine will be something like 5-8 PM? On the one hand, I am the new person. On the other hand, she asked for my availability and I did respond, so I feel like I did my due diligence. On the other hand, I shouldn't expect things to revolve around my schedule, since I am the least senior.