Take a Prof to Lunch

Dear Faculty,

I want to remind you (or if you’re new, tell you) about the program run by the Provost’s office: “Take a Professor to Lunch.” This program enables a student to invite a professor to eat with her/him in the cafeteria—and the Provost’s Office will buy you (and the student, too, if they’re not on a meal plan) lunch.

One of the things seniors tell us in their exit survey is that they wish they had developed relationships with professors sooner in their time at K. Office hours are a great opportunity to do this, but so is a free lunch. I’ve emailed students about this program too (if you’re like me, it can feel awkward to tell your students ‘hey, you can take me to lunch?’). I’ve told them that they don’t have to have a lengthy agenda of things they want to talk about— they can just tell us about their life at K (and beyond) and ask us about ours.

Here’s how it works:

If a student is on the meal plan, the cafeteria employee will swipe their card as usual. And the front desk will have orange ‘take a professor to lunch’ cards for the professor to pick up, sign, and give back to the front desk.
If a student is not on the meal plan, the front desk will have orange ‘take a professor to lunch’ cards for both the student and the professor. The professor will sign the student’s card as well as her/his own, so you and the student will need to meet up at the front desk.
We’ve tried to streamline this program so it can all be done at the front desk of the cafeteria. If you have any questions, please contact me. In order to keep this program going, we’d ask that you limit your lunches to 3 a quarter; if a student invites you and you’ve reached your limit (or if the same student keeps inviting you), encourage her/him to ask another professor.

Thank you,

Michele Intermont
Associate Provost
Kalamazoo College