On Oct. 1, Dr. Ed Romanowicz, the director of the Center for Earth and Environmental Science department as well as an associate professor of geology, organized an event with the department in which professors presented free chilli, apple cider, corn bread and other treats to students.
“It’s an opportunity to get our students together and meet the faculty outside the classroom setting and to get to know the faculty personally,” Romanowicz said.
The event took place next to Hawkins Pond on Friday at 4:30 p.m. A table was set up with a variety of choices of things to eat, including many different types of chilli. Some of the chilli contained meat while others were vegan. Students loaded their plates or bowls with the food of their desire. They mingled around and engaged in conversations with each other or the faculty members present. Romanowicz provided some insight on why chilli was chosen to be served as the main dish for the event.
“Chilli is very easy to make for different diets,” Romanowicz said. “You have chilli with meat. You have vegan chilli. You have vegetarian chilli. You have gluten-free chilli. So, it’s very easy to accommodate different diet restrictions.”
This event acted as a replacement for an annual trip from previous years in which freshman students were taken to Twin Valley. With this trip, students would have stayed overnight in the area. They would have hiked, eaten dinner and had a morning breakfast before they returned. Due to their fears regarding COVID-19, the department decided not to go through with the trip this year and instead came up with a new idea.
“We thought this was a good alternative,” Romanowicz said. “A little more approachable for students because it’s right on campus as opposed to having to take everyone down to Twin Valley.”
Although it’s different, the event proved to be a success among students. Many students showed up and gathered around the area to take part in it. Some of the students who showed up just came for the food, but others stuck around and tried to get to know some of the people there.
“It has a great turn out,” Amelie Przedwiecki, a freshman environmental science major, said. “A bunch of people are here, meeting new people and we’re seeing people without their masks on.”
As opposed to last year, the current semester has had more events available for students to attend. Many more like this are expected to come as the year progresses. This includes public meet-ups hosted by different clubs, departments and organizations on campus. Students should keep an eye out for any news relating to one that’s upcoming as it might catch their interests. Even simple things such as food and conversation can be appealing.
“I like how food brings people together,” Raena Burke, a sophomore environmental science major, said. “You can never go wrong with chili.”