There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

. . . except when there’s a professor involved, apparently. In what is surely one of the best all-campus emails I’ve received all semester, Dean Mike Whaley announces a new program:

In order to promote informal faculty-student interaction outside the classroom, I am pleased to announce the Daniel Family Commons Free Lunch Program.  We have provided each faculty member with vouchers that enable them to take small groups of students to lunch at the Daniel Family Commons in the Usdan Center.  My office is making these same vouchers available directly to you!  Each voucher covers the cost of lunch for a faculty member and up to three students, and vouchers will be good for the remainder of the current academic year.

Please consider inviting your favorite faculty member to lunch, and stop by my office (220 North College) to pick up a voucher.

As a wide-eyed prefrosh reading about schools like Wesleyan (and in guidebooks like Jordan Goldman ’04‘s awesome Students’ Guide to Colleges), I was always charmed by stories of professors having small groups of students over for dinner, and other interactions well outside the sharp high school student/teacher divide. At Wes, while professors frequently are approachable and sociable and more than willing to continue academic discussions after class, that scenario has never quite come true for me.

Suffice to say, the program outlined above seems like a fantastic push in that direction. And you’ll even get to subvert the meal plan in the process.

But will professors actively make use of the vouchers? Or will Wes students take the initiative and finally invite that insane Philosophy prof out to lunch at Usdan? (It’s the third floor, remember—mad classy.) I hope so. Provide some thoughts in the comments.

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7 thoughts on “There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

  1. Anonymous

    Faculty members have invited international students who remain on campus over the Thanksgiving break to have Thanksgiving dinner at their homes. In freshman year I had dinner at Prof. Barry Chernoff’s and he cooked up a storm! Was fun.

    I think this program’s a great idea but I’d be intimidated about inviting my professors to lunch haha.

  2. noblots

    I think professors really are approachable here — I remember my religion professor asking the entire class to have lunch with her — we had to sign up for different dates we could go. I also went to my philosophy professor’s office hours, and got invited to lunch at the DFC – apart from essay notes, we were able to discuss philosophy and other aspects of Wesleyan. Some professors really make the effort; I think they’d be interested in seeing what we do with our vouchers..

  3. Jason Shatz '14

    Nice picture! For those of you that don’t know, it’s the cover for a 1964 avant-garde jazz album featuring a group led by Eric Dolphy.
    The line-up: Dolphy (bass clarinet, flute, alto saxophone), Freddie Hubbard (trumpet), Bobby Hutcherson (vibraphone), Richard Davis (bass), Tony Williams (drums).

  4. Boo

    my professor just took three students out to lunch (well, out as in DFC) and we had a lovely time. nice and approachable professors exist in Wes!
    but i wouldn’t go as far to inviting myself to lunch with a faculty..

  5. guest

    teachers here are so disinterested in us. that whole “going to your professor’s house for dinner” is the most bullshit thing ever. does that actually happen at other schools? i feel like asking one of my professors to lunch would feel like a burden to them.

    1. Alum '10

      I went to two professors houses’ for meals for a total of five times. it does happen, maybe just not to you.

      -Wesleyan ’10

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