By Ariele Vaccaro
It’s not often that college students enjoy a meal for free. It’s even less often that students get to enjoy a meal for free, bought entirely by their college.
Concordia University’s Design Your Future (DYF) two-year campus broke the mold, however, when it offered a holiday meal to its students free of charge last Thursday, Dec. 10. It was the third year the school threw the holiday celebration.
Students and faculty alike lined up to be served by administrators. Alea Cross, DYF coordinator, passed healthy servings of turkey, ham, and mashed potatoes.
A table of desserts met luncheon guests at the end of the table.
Latoya Goodin is a DYF freshman studying liberal arts with the intention of getting her bachelor’s degree at the main Concordia University campus in Mequon.
She learned of the luncheon via an email from school administration.
“It’s awesome because it makes us all feel connected and like a big family,” said Goodin.
Her favorite part of the holiday meal was the fresh macaroni and cheese.
Several alumni, like Dominique Davis, joined in on the festivities.
For Davis, it was heartwarming to see the school make an effort to bring students and faculty together for a day.
She recognized it wasn’t something that happens every day.
“I guess it really shows they really care for us and the support. Just going above and beyond,” said Davis.
“In more typical university, you’re like a number. It’s more personal here.”
Michael Hall is DYF Program Director. He said many of the over 40 students taking part in DYF are first generation college students.
Some, he noted, might live in environments that don’t foster a successful college career. With events like the holiday luncheon, he wants to assure students that DYF is an environment of constant support.
“I try building an environment where there’s a distinct difference between outside and in here, so that you feel safe, secure, and can devote all of your time to an education for later,” said Hall.
To Hall, relationships are important, especially those professional ones between students and faculty.
For a lot of students, the luncheon was the first time they were able to sit down with their professors.
They shared tables and chatted over full plates.