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SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

2023 Etiquette Dinner

Jerry Carter presented to the participants about proper dining etiquette in the OSC ballroom. Photo provided by Annelise Vandiver.

By Holly Ward

The 23rd Annual Etiquette Dinner saw over 60 students and over ten community members in the Occhiato Student Center Ballroom Tuesday night, April 18.  

Annelise Vandiver is a senior at CSU Pueblo and a Peer Mentor for the Career Center. She was the coordinator for the event and was responsible for marketing, picking out the food and colors, communicating with leaders around the community, and encouraging students’ attendance.

“The Etiquette Dinner’s mission is to educate students on proper etiquette, prepare students for success in the professional world, and increase students’ awareness of the appropriate dress for interviews and other professional occasions,” Vandiver said.

The annual event is free for all students to attend. Students had to sign up for the event in advance so the food could be prepared. Students were able to submit any food allergies. When students arrived the night of the event, they received a nametag with their names and table number. Some students received mini cards to identify their allergies, so servers knew to give them alternate dishes.

Each table had a table leader, a member of the community, allowing students to practice networking in a professional setting.

“The Etiquette Dinner is a great place to practice networking with other professionals. It also allows you to meet and ask questions to professionals in your area of study, teach you proper dining etiquette, and increase your success in the workplace,” Vandiver said.

The main presenter of the evening was Jerry Carter, the catering director at CSU Pueblo. The primary vendor of the evening was Aladdin Campus Dining.

Carter opened the evening by teaching the participants how to arrange the table appropriately. Students learned to identify different pieces of silverware and which side of the plate they should sit on. They also learned etiquette tips such as placing butter on the bread plate and individually buttering small pieces of the bread as they eat instead of buttering an entire roll first. 

Students received cheat cards with a mini diagram of a proper table setting labeled silverware, dishes, and glasses. The back of the card included lists of foods under different categories: finger foods, fork foods, spoon foods, and foods to avoid. 

They also received a paper titled “Tips for the Evening.” These tips included “look into, not over, your cup or glass when speaking” and “do not gesture with utensils in your hands.”

Once set, the first course, French onion soup, was brought to the tables, a purposefully challenging meal to teach proper etiquette. Students learned how to approach the cheesy soup and that they could flip their spoons over once finished with their bowls. The spoons flipped over signaled to servers that the attendees had finished eating and would be able to take their plates. 

The other courses on the menu included a salad “with toasted walnuts, dried cranberries, fresh blueberries, goat cheese, and sherry shallot dressing.” The entrée of the evening was chicken chasseur “airline style, accompanied with bacon and garlic roasted Brussels sprouts, parmesan, and rosemary scalloped potatoes.”

“The staff were great at accommodating for my dietary needs throughout the evening, as I have a nut allergy. The best part was definitely the French onion soup, though,” said Alex Sedelmyer, a first-year student. He attended the dinner per encouragement with his involvement in the President’s Leadership Program.

The evening ended with dessert with a serving of tiramisu. This event has occurred since 1998, and according to Vandiver, the Hasan School of Business hosted the dinner. “Michelle Gjerde, the former Career Center director, proposed in 2003 that the Career Center take the event over, and it has been going on ever since.”

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