This fall, an ambitious group of Colgate students decided to bring Spoon University, a national organization, to Colgate. Spoon University was founded by seniors at Northwestern University in 2013. After realizing they were about to graduate from college without learning how to intelligently feed themselves, they decided to create a program to help educate their peers about food and eating. Since its initial chapter at Northwestern, Spoon University has spread to over 100 different college campuses around the country.
Sophomores Mallory Shaner and Julie Hadijyane heard about Spoon University and decided to look into starting a chapter at Colgate. They began looking into founding a chapter in September, the process of getting approved by the national organization was a long one.
Shaner is a cofounder and community manager, Hadjiyane is a cofounder and editorial director, sophomore Erin Munro is social Media Manager, along with senior Sam Birmingham, the Managing Editor.
“Probably one of the biggest challenges was getting approved. It can be a long process, especially when you are so eager to host events on campus,” Munro said.
Fortunately, this November, after running an active Instagram account (under the name “spoon_colgate”) and writing multiple articles, Spoon Colgate was approved by the Student Government Association. Shaner explained that this means Spoon Colgate can now receive funding from the school, host official events that can be listed on Campus Distributions and have a website. This past week, on Thursday, November 5, Spoon Colgate held its first community event in Frank Dining Hall.
“It was really interesting because the theme was ‘Senses’ so we had everybody close their eyes, because studies show that you eat with your eyes. You eat based on what something looks like. So if you close your eyes and try to guess what it is, it’s a lot harder to guess than you would think,” Shaner said.
Spoon Colgate has brought people together at every step of the way. Events such as the “Senses” community experience bring people physically together to experience food together. Spoon University was founded with the intention of teaching peers about intelligent eating, but as a student-run organization, it also has the capacity of teaching its founders and contributors about what it means to be a part of something bigger than oneself.
“I think that it offers an atmosphere for a lot of different students to get involved. You can be a writer, you can be a photographer, but there is also management in doing the events, and organization skills and budgeting. I think it has a lot of opportunities for different students,” Hadjiyane said.
The Colgate chapter of Spoon University still has a long way to go in terms of publishing articles and maintaining an active presence on campus. Nevertheless, it has been successful in bringing people together to write articles, take pictures and participate in events. After all, what better way to bring people together than with food?