Take Your Professor to Lunch
At Vanderbilt, the opportunities to make change are limitless, especially when you get to work with a group of passionate, engaged, and bright students.
As an HOD major, I am currently enrolled in a Small Group Behavior class, which focuses on learning how teams work and developing teamwork skills. My favorite part of this class, though, is our semester-long project (I know, I know– I never thought that I would say that sentence, either). Working in a small team of roughly eight members, we identify a problem on campus and implement a solution for that problem. My team decided to tackle the problem of Vanderbilt’s underutilized FeaSt program on campus.
FeaSt gives students the opportunity to take their professors to lunch at no cost to the student or professor (that’s right– free food!), providing a platform to build student/professor relationships outside of the classroom and office hours. We envisioned this program as a foundation for students to reach out to their professors and as a way to provide support between faculty and students.
After analyzing the former FeaSt program through Vanderbilt Student Government (VSG), we decided that in order to increase use of the program, which had been discontinued because of the lack of student use, we determined that students did not use the program because they did not know it existed and the sign-up process took a long time. As a result, we revamped the process for signing up and launched a campus-wide PR campaign.
In order to sign up for FeaSt, students only need to take three easy steps:
1. Ask a professor to lunch
2. Sign up here on Anchor Link
3. Print out the voucher that FeaSt sends via email and enjoy the free meal
For our PR campaign, we partnered with VSG to spread the word through multiple student emails, faculty emails, and a promotional Take Your Professor to Lunch Week.
As a result, the revamped FeaSt program is a huge success, not only for our team, but for Vanderbilt’s community. In only one week after we launched the program, forty-four students signed up to take a professor to lunch.
Last Friday, I took my HOD professor, one of my favorite professors at Vanderbilt, to lunch. We went to the Commons Dining Center and talked about my experiences with this project, how I felt about my first year at Vanderbilt, and about summer plans and opportunities. Our lunch was invaluable to me, as it displayed the commitment of Vanderbilt’s professors to welcome students to the Vandy community and support them in all of their endeavors.
Working on this project for the past several weeks has taught me a lot about managing and leading teams, solving problems, and working with others. Most importantly, though, it made me realize that my thoughts and ideas are valuable to the Vanderbilt community and that I have the power to create positive change on campus, especially with the help of my fellow students. My team members are some of the most intelligent and committed students on campus, and I am honored that I had the opportunity to work alongside them on this project. Together, we made FeaSt a successful part of Vanderbilt’s inclusive and supportive community.
If you have any questions about the FeaSt program, the HOD major/Small Group Behavior class, or Vanderbilt in general, please send me an email! I’d be happy to answer any of your questions– firstname.lastname@example.org