New Chat & Dine Lunch Program Records Great Success
In January, the Student Association launched a new program designed to help students better connect with faculty and staff members. The Chat & Dine Lunch Program provides students with the opportunity to invite staff and faculty members to a free lunch at the Goldstein Alumni and Faculty Center. The idea for the program came about when members of the Student Life Committee learned of a similar program at the University of Rochester.
“Part of Chancellor Syverud’s mission is to expand the learning experience outside the classroom, and Chat & Dine is a great way to do so,” says Aysha Seedat, director of the Student Association Student Life Committee. “In this sense, students are able to learn and network in a different, more personal and relaxed environment.”
Chat & Dine occurs every Tuesday and Friday from 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Approximately 100 students, staff and faculty have participated in the program so far.
“The Chat & Dine was such a lovely experience,” says senior Maryann Akinboyewa. “I am the co-president of the newly formed Writing Program Student Organization. My executive board and I had spent quite some time brainstorming activities we could do with our faculty advisor, Professor Patrick Berry. When the notification about the Chat & Dine came out, I jumped at it! This was exactly what we were looking for. I mean, we all love to eat and for once, we could celebrate and chat with our faculty advisor outside of the context of class or work.”
“I think Chat & Dine helps the students relax and get to know faculty, staff and their professors without having to be in a classroom setting,” she adds. “It’s great being able to break bread with your peers and faculty. I am glad this is a program now because I think it will foster and encourage new relationships and conversations.”
Students interested in inviting faculty or staff to lunch should start by gathering a group of peers and completing the application form on the Chat & Dine website. Once approved, students can select a date and time that works for the group and faculty or staff member they would like to invite. Student Association makes all the reservations. The last day for reservations in the spring semester is anticipated to be April 28.
For more information about the Chat & Dine program, contact the Student Association Student Life Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.