Setting the Table for Talk

Setting the Table for Talk

Program to encourage conversation between faculty, staff, students

By Stephen Gawlik
Staff Writer

A new program developed by the Office of Residential Life and the Undergraduate Government of Boston College will bring together faculty, staff and students for informal chats over special meals.

Table Talk Program organizers Jennifer Maloney (right) and Lauren Toth.
The Table Talk Program, which begins March 20, will offer a weekly slate of lunches, dinners and desserts to be held in campus dining facilities. Participating students will be given special tickets to help defray the cost of lunch and dinner events; desserts will be free of charge.

Each Table Talk event will spotlight a faculty or staff member, who will introduce himself or herself and discuss a particular topic, then invite students to ask questions and make their own comments. The inaugural speaker will be Women's Hockey Head Coach Thomas Babson, who will share his experiences as a coach and former actor.

Organizers say Table Talk offers students the opportunity to form a new perspective on BC faculty and staff and reflect on issues of personal or professional interest.

Explaining the program's intent, Resident Director Jennifer Maloney said few students have a chance for casual, friendly conversation with faculty and staff.

"We're hoping this will help change that. There's a certain value to people getting to know one another," said Maloney.

Lauren Toth '05, a member of the UGBC committee that helped organize Table Talk, said, "We think it's important for both the students and the faculty or staff member. People who teach and work at colleges do so because they are interested in helping students and they care about what's going on in students' lives. This is just another way to help make that possible."

This semester's schedule of Table Talk programs runs until the week of April 21, with meals taking place in the Lower Campus Dining Hall, Hillsides Café, the McElroy Café, Stuart Dining Hall and the Eagles Nest.

Table Talk is the latest entry in Residential Life's Shared Connections Program, which is designed to promote greater interaction between students, faculty and administrators.

Through the Faculty Fellows Program, faculty adopt a specific residence hall floor community and are available to the students and residential life staff throughout the academic year. Faculty Fellows are invited to attend various programs sponsored by the floor community's resident assistant and will also be encouraged to work with the residential life staff to plan others.

The Faculty Mentor Program pairs an undergraduate student with a faculty or staff member, who provides support and guidance in encouraging their students to attain academic and personal success, say administrators.

"It is our hope that the programs offered will enhance the interaction between students, faculty and staff," said Office of Residential Life Associate Director Linda Riley. "Students will have the opportunity to interact with faculty and staff in an informal way, and further develop relationships that will contribute to their Boston College experience."

For more information on Table Talk call Jennifer Maloney at ext.2-3222.


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