Home Campus Feasting with smiles and service

Feasting with smiles and service

The chatter of women echoed throughout the Taylor cultural hall on Thursday, Dec. 5 for the University Women’s Winter Luncheon. Two tables on the sides of the room presented a buffet including rolls, berry spread, potatoes, salad and meats including ham and turkey. On a third table, plates of cheesecake drizzled with toppings drew the full-time female employees from across the room to take one.

Only about 200 out of an estimated 1,000 employees came, but Melanie Walker, the President of the University Women’s Association and the custodial manager of facilities management services, said the numbers still demonstrate how successful the event was in getting women to gather and learn.

“We organize these luncheons for the ladies so they can get together, but that’s just a nice bonus for them,” Walker said. “What we really do is try to provide an area for them to apply for scholarships so they can further their education.”

On the University Women’s Association’s webpage, it outlined three primary goals: To socialize, create unity, and “encourage and support the furthering of education by providing grants.”

For any women who are working on campus, they can apply for grants or scholarships for books and other needs in order to obtain a degree. Events like these help inform women of these opportunities.

There is one luncheon each semester. Because this one is near Christmas, they selected the theme “When ye have done it unto the least of these.” As part of the event, a representative from the Family Crisis Center presented to the women about how to help families in their community. This is how they applied their theme and drew together in service — the spirit of the season.

Piles of family necessities like toilet paper, blankets and kitchen supplies grew in both corners of the room. The employees donated these household items to the FCC so families in crisis can have the basic necessities of life, even if they don’t have the money for it.

“I really appreciated (the FCC) guest speaker because it gave me awareness of what I can do as a person in the community to give back to those in need,” said Shiree Shirley, the office assistant for Events Services.

A Christmas song Kahoot game pitted tables of women against each other. “Deck the halls with boughs of holly” popped up on the screen in the front of the room. From the crowd, a chorus rose singing “Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la” followed by a series of laughs.

Walker explained that for women who liked to mingle, this event was an opportunity to give them social time and interact with other departments.

“It’s a nice time to get away from work and learn things and have a fellowship of sisterhood,” said Tiffany Paepke, a registered nurse at the Student Health Center.

Trish Carvajal, the office assistant for Events Management, was chatting with Shirley when she agreed that it was a nice break from work.

“We appreciate everyone’s participation and the committee that puts it on because everyone works so hard and everything’s always so beautiful and they make all the women here feel so special,” Carvajal said.

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