Last night, students and faculty sat down for a home-cooked meal together in houses across Jackson. It was all part of the Be Our Guest event, organized by the Student Activities Council (SAC), a Union tradition that will take place again tonight and Thursday night.
Be Our Guest has been a reoccurring event on campus for at least a decade, since before Jared Dauenhauer became the Assistant Director of Student Leadership and Engagement. Each year, a number of Union professors and faculty volunteer to host about six to 12 students for an evening and feed them a home-cooked meal.
Rachel Sette, junior nursing major, is chairing the event for the first time this year. She said it is her favorite SAC event, and she has attended the past two years at two different professor’s homes, neither of which she knew before the evening.
“Lots of students don’t want to sign up because they say they don’t know any of the professors,” she said. “But I didn’t know either of the professors whose house I went to, and it was great.”
While it’s too late for students to sign up for this year’s event, she encourages everyone to sign up next year, whether or not they know the professor who is hosting.
“It’s a great way for students to interact with professors outside of academics,” she said. “And there’s free food. Who can say no?”
When it comes time to start organizing the event, SAC sends out emails to all the professors with a response form to fill out if they wish to host. Then SAC members email and meet professors face-to-face, encouraging them to sign up. This year, 23 faculty members opened their homes to students.
Students were able to sign up outside the Brewer Dining Hall, choosing based upon professors, day, time and meals. This year, there were multiple vegetarian and gluten-free options, and the professors are reimbursed for all of their spending.
Last night, freshman international business major Korey Adams spent the evening at Management Professor Emily Lean’s house. They dined on chicken and dumplings, green beans, rolls and mashed potatoes. He said he really enjoyed both the food and the socializing.
“We had dope conversation,” he said. “It was cool to hear Dr. Lean talk about her experiences at Union years ago. She told us of how small Union used to be and how much it’s grown. Meanwhile her 1-year-old, Elliot, also kept up with lively conversation of his own. He ate almost a whole scoop of ice cream. The floor ate the rest.”