‘Dine-With-a-Professor’ Program to Expand in 2013

    The-Dine-with-a-Professor program will continue despite A.S. Council budget cuts. Each individual college will still sponsor the program, which allows students to get to know their professors over a meal for free.

    A.S. Council Vice President of Finance and Resources Bryan Cassella said that council dropped Dine-with-a-Professor funding in its Fall 2012 budget because the program was not used to the satisfaction of A.S. Council.

    “We found that the program was not utilized very much and also coincided with pre-existing programs on each of the college campuses that are much more successful,” he said.

    Muir College Council Chair Kit Wong explained that council originally funded the program to expand it, giving students more opportunities to participate. With A.S. funding, students could dine with professors through A.S. Council instead of just through their respective colleges.

    According to Warren Dean of Student Affairs Paul DeWine, who oversees the program for Warren College, because the colleges manage the Dine-with-a-Professor program, the loss of funding from A.S. Council will have no impact on how the program operates.  While the cuts decrease the amount of money spent on the program, many of the college councils are not worried due to savings left over from previous years. This will allow the colleges to self fund Dine-with-a-Professor — at least for the next few years.

    “Funding is going to be constricted a little depending on the amount of demand from students who want to do it,” Wong said. “It’ll be hard to tell who’ll get it and who won’t, but for now funding seems to be the least of our worries, because it’s been a strong and stable program regardless of A.S. funding.”

    Despite losing around half of the programs’ funding, the college councils are focusing more on expansion rather than cutbacks. Muir Dean of Student Affairs Patricia Mahaffey is looking forward to improving the program, with hopes to expand the Coffee-with-a-Professor program to cover all six colleges instead of just Warren and Sixth. Additionally, she predicted that A.S. Council’s discontinuation of funding would have its advantages.

    “I anticipate that with the discontinuation of the Dine-with-a-Prof Program that A.S. [Council] funded we may see an increase in usage within the college program. We welcome that,” she said. “Students that may have picked up a lunch card through the A.S. office will now pick up their lunch card from their college dean’s office.”

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