Opinion: Advisor dinners should not happen during family style slots

By: Jessica Cha’17
Staff Writer

Family style serves as a source of pride.
Students and faculty have formed close-knit relationships through family style dinners that other schools do not have, and these close relationships have become an essential part of the community. Not only do they help students generate new and old friendships, family style dinners prepare students for formal dinners in the future. It is often questioned whether or not some family style dinners should be replaced with advisory dinners. It is essential to meet with advisors and advisory groups, but family style should not have to be eliminated to accommodate those times.

Family style is a time to enforce the bonds students already have with their peers, and to create new ones. The tables rotate every three weeks to give students enough time to bond with the people they meet, yet still continue meeting new students. During family style dinners, people of all grades sit down and enjoy a meal together. The teachers are also required to attend the dinners for exactly one trimester. This makes it possible to meet faculty members from different fields and parts of the campus. Family style dinners have been the main contributor in giving students and teachers the opportunity to really interact with each other.

“I have met so many of my closest friends through family style,” Jiehan Zheng ’14 said. “It is also a great time for me to connect with old and new teachers.”

“I like how we are assigned tables, because we get to know people who we wouldn’t normally talk to,” Jocelyn Ng ’14 said.

“I was so scared during my first rotation. I didn’t know what to wear, to say, to act, or to do,” Christine Ayoh ’17 said. “I was so nervous, but then I met so many new people that were so kind to me. I immediately felt welcome and I enjoy family style now.”

In addition to the relationships formed in family style, it also offers students the opportunity to practice for college and even job interviews. Course meals are served by student waiters and everyone attends family style dinners dressed in formal attire. As a freshman, this is intimidating at first, but soon students become accustomed to how family style works. Teachers and students easily converse about topics ranging from favorite Disney movies and favorite subjects to hopes for the future.

“I feel so prepared for my future interviews now,” Tanvi Dange ‘17 said. “Family style has really helped me to open up to new people. Family style will definitely be the tradition I will miss the most about my experience at Peddie.”

“I really love interacting with the new people around me, and I have been able to meet people from all different grades thanks to family style,” Ayoh’17 said.

In conclusion, some family style dinners should not be replaced with advisory dinners. Each family style dinner has really been beneficial for the community, and students consistently look forward to the new table rotations. It has become the primary time for students and teachers to get to know each other and to become comfortable with each other.