Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 58

The Spice of Life: Residence Hall Kitchen
Programming
There is no cookie-cutter recipe for creating
innovative residence hall kitchen programming,
but there are strategies that can lead to
a successful dish: Know your audience,
understand that repetition is key, and bring
your own unique flavor to the table.
First, know your audience. Programmers
have to understand what their residents want
in a kitchen and what populations use the
space most often. At Oxford College, staff
noticed that international students and cultural
groups use the kitchen more frequently, so
they tailored their programming to match.
This is also true at Acadia University where,
over winter break, a large Chinese student

PHOTO COURTESY OF VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH UNIVERSITY

population uses their kitchen to cook a
traditional holiday meal that they share with
other residents staying on campus. East
Tennessee State University (ETSU) in Johnson
City recognizes that most of its users are
kitchen novices, so they created Kitchen
Possible, a program designed to help students
develop basic cooking skills, while also giving
them a chance to connect with a faculty
member in a purposeful way. Jesse Helton,
an area coordinator at ETSU, says, "It is an
interactive experience - students are actively
preparing their own version of the item being
taught as instructors help students learn to do
this themselves." It is this finely tuned sense
of who is using their spaces that makes these
58

TALKING STICK

institutions and their programs successful.
Second, understand that repetition is key.
In the kitchen, practice makes perfect, and the
same holds true for residential programming.
Repeatedly presenting a program that
incorporates the kitchen space on a certain
day gives students something to look forward
to and allows programmers to participate in a
regularly scheduled success. The University of
Washington sponsors Waffle Wednesdays, and
Oxford College sponsors Tea Tuesdays, where
sophomore advisors set up tea and cookies
in the kitchen, creating a space for first-year
students to share their concerns, talk about
their days, or just be together. The University
of Wisconsin-Platteville sponsors Toast Time
at 10 p.m. on Tuesday nights, where residents
take turns making toast and garnishing it with
various toppings (peanut butter, Nutella, jelly,
etc.) and then stand in a circle to make a toast
to something good happening in their lives.
Elizabeth Brunner, the creator of this tasty
tradition, says, "It is a great way to focus on
the positive and hear about my residents'
lives. Sometimes it lasts 15 minutes, other
times an hour. We also began documenting
the program through weekly photos and
eventually ordered Toast Time t-shirts." The
important part of all of these programs is that
they occur regularly, giving the programs a
foundation and structure.
Finally, bring your own special flavor to
the table. Just like a three-starred Michelin
chef, what makes a kitchen program truly
remarkable is its creativity and innovation. At
Oxford College, this creativity is embodied
in a new class offered weekly in their
residence hall demo kitchen called "Delicious!
Neurogastronomy and the Science of Food."
The course is an interdisciplinary seminar that
surveys the neuroscience of taste and smell as
well as the physics and chemistry of cooking.
It combines lectures and discussions with
cooking demonstrations and includes guest
lectures by Atlanta-area chefs as well as local
researchers specializing in the neurobiology of
taste.
There is no real mystery to successful
residence hall kitchen programming. If
programmers determine the essential
ingredients by taking time to understand who
wants to use the space and how they want to
see it utilized, create a memorable dish that
deserves to be offered regularly, and add the
zest of creativity and innovation, they will have
discovered the recipe for success.



Talking Stick - May/June 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Talking Stick - May/June 2016

Talking Stick - May/June 2016
Contents
Vision
Just In
Calendar
Your ACUHO-I
Transitions
Facilities
Special Focus - Learning by Listening
Marketing and Communications
Foundational
Power On
Dishing Up Community
Conversations
First Takes
Around Student Affairs
New Members
Snapshot
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - Intro
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - BB1
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - BB2
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - Talking Stick - May/June 2016
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - Cover2
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 1
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 2
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 3
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - Contents
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 5
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 6
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 7
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - Vision
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 9
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - Just In
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 11
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 12
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - BI1
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - BI2
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 13
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 14
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 15
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 16
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 17
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - Calendar
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 19
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - Your ACUHO-I
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 21
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - Transitions
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 23
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - Facilities
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 25
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 26
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 27
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - Special Focus - Learning by Listening
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 29
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 30
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 31
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - Marketing and Communications
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 33
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 34
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 35
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - Foundational
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 37
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 38
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 39
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - Power On
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 41
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 42
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 43
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 44
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 45
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 46
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 47
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 48
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 49
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - Dishing Up Community
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 51
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 52
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 53
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 54
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 55
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 56
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 57
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 58
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 59
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - Conversations
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 61
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 62
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 63
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - First Takes
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - Around Student Affairs
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 66
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 67
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 68
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 69
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - New Members
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - 71
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - Snapshot
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - Cover3
Talking Stick - May/June 2016 - Cover4
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