PLNU professors can now eat free in the Caf with a “Lunch with A Professor” ticket located on the third floor of the Nicholson Commons building.
On March 6, ASB partnered with Sodexo to implement a new program that allows professors to get a free meal when they eat with a student. The tickets can be used for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The purpose of the tickets is to increase the bond between students and professors outside of the classroom.
“We are tremendously fortunate to have instructors that are always willing to have a conversation outside of class, so ideally this will provide a venue for students to build relationships with faculty,” said Nathan Guajardo, director of student relations, via email.
The idea for the tickets started when former PLNU student senator and alumnus Danny King suggested it last school year. The suggestion was carried on this school year in Student Senate by junior senator, Ashleigh Downer.
“Senator Danny King brought up the idea of a ‘Lunch with A Professor’ option because he personally believed in having the option to treat our professors to a meal,” said Downer via email. “I saw this idea as one that should be seen through to the end because Danny was completely correct.”
Motivated by the discussions in Student Senate, Guajardo met with Miles Rottman, general manager of the Caf, and Cindy Chappell, associate vice president of finance, to discuss the cost and further implementation of the idea.
Three days later, the “Lunch with A Professor” ticket was created.
Although there is no limit on the amount of tickets a student can use, only 10 students have used the tickets so far. Lyndsay Geyer, Sodexo’s unit marketing manager, is working on ways on how to spread the word about these tickets.
“The ‘Take your Prof’ artwork will be displayed throughout the dining hall, LCD menu screens and will be announced on PLNU dining’s Facebook and Instagram accounts,” said Geyer.
Despite the efforts of making these tickets known, one student isn’t too excited about these new tickets.
“I think it’s a really good idea, but if I wanted to have an enjoyable conversation with my professor I wouldn’t have it in the Caf because it’s too loud to even have a conversation,” said Joanna Popoff, a freshman nursing major.
Other than the location, freshman student senator, Tyler Marlow, is worried that if the ticket is available at all times, it will lose its significance and value.
“I think it would be a great idea if there was a day [or set period of time or event] dedicated to taking your professor to lunch because students would be more prone to use them,” said Marlow. “If they are available all the time it won’t be a rare, awesome ticket that students could use.”
Despite student’s concerns, ASB plans to spread awareness of these tickets on ‘Faculty Appreciation Day’ this Thursday. ASB predicts that about 200 students will take advantage of this program, costing them approximately $1,200, but if more people appear to be interested, ASB will pay for more tickets.
“It’s very low cost for ASB and has a potential for high returns for students and faculty in the long run, so it should have a long life,” said Guajardo.
ASB President mcKensey Wise sent an email to the student body last week encouraging students to follow three simple steps:
“Come up to the third floor of Nicholson Commons, pick up a ticket at the front desk that says “Lunch with A Professor, [and] have your invited professor hand the ticket to the Caf cashier when they come to lunch. ASB will take care of the rest!”