“Take a Faculty Member to Breakfast or Lunch” program expands
411 students have requested vouchers for the program this term, and many participants choose to dine at Pine restaurant.
The undergraduate deans office and Student Assembly recently increased funding for the “Take a Faculty Member to Breakfast or Lunch” program, which allows students and faculty to engage in conversation over a subsidized meal.
Currently, the undergraduate deans office distributes the vouchers, which are redeemable at the Pine Restaurant at the Hanover Inn and are worth $25 per participant. The voucher amount at other available dining options — Moosilauke Ravine Lodge and the Class of 1953 Commons — covers the meal completely. Groups of up to three students may request a voucher once a term. According to the program’s website, it is “extremely popular” and, until recently, vouchers often ran out before the end of each term.
Last year, the undergraduate deans office revamped the program with the launch of a new pilot program in coordination with the Kaminsky family, which has funded the program through “generous gifts,” according to dean of undergraduate students Brian Reed. Reed added that the pilot program seeks to address concerns surrounding the availability of vouchers. With the additional funds, there are no longer caps imposed on the number of vouchers available each term.
“[The Kaminsky family] has worked with us over the last few terms to keep funding going,” Reed said. “Our efforts have always been to work with the primary donors to expand the program and they have been committed to that, as well.”
According to Reed, the introduction of the new pilot program markedly increased participation; this term, 411 students have requested vouchers so far. Before the pilot program expanded funds, the faculty meal program supported an average of 80 meals at Pine for one to three students and their faculty guests.
Student Assembly also financially assists the faculty meal program. Outgoing SA vice president Nicole Knape ’19 said SA has historically allocated $9,000 to the program — $3,000 per term.
“[The financial assistance] is a stand-in SA commitment to the program,” Knape said. “We thought it’s a great initiative and it’d be important to continue funding it.”
Incoming SA vice president Ariela Kovary ’20 said that new SA leadership recently proposed its budget to the College’s undergraduate finance committee. Kovary added that she and incoming SA president Luke Cuomo ’20 advocated for allocating $12,000 to the program.
“[Cuomo and I] wanted to increase the funding by $1,000 per term to increase the availability of the program to students,” Kovary said. “The program fosters a personal connection with your professor, which is super rewarding — I think it will be an important item on SA’s agenda moving forward.”
Cuomo said he and Kovary hope to increase the longevity of the program through additional funds. The program currently allows each student to request one voucher per term, which Cuomo said will not change with the proposed budget.
“Our budget allotment for next year was a little below our proposal, but we’re still looking at ways in which we can expand the longevity of the program,” Cuomo said. “We don’t know exactly how that will end up yet because there are lots of moving parts.”
SA Senate, which is composed of 24 members — six representatives for each house community across all four classes — will conduct a simple majority vote on how to specifically allocate the new budget in the near future.
“It’s not just [Kovary and I] who make this decision,” Cuomo said. “The SA Senate ultimately decides where the money goes, and that meeting has not been scheduled yet, but as of now we hope to expand the program.”