Free Lunch and Learns are Back

Posted on 10/5/21 1:43 PM

The Center for Multicultural Student Leadership and Engagement is continuing to offer Lunch and Learns throughout the school year, which are free to anyone interested in attending.

MCSLE is offering six Lunch and Learn programs for the fall, all occurring during the Crimson Common Hour from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the Elkin Hall Great Room.

This semester’s first Lunch and Learn was on Wednesday, September 22, and was entitled “The Importance of Latinx Students Pursuing Higher Education” with guest speaker Pamela Guzman. Attendees enjoyed a free lunch and listened to Ms. Guzman via zoom to learn more about Latinx students in higher education. Pamela Guzman Speaks to Students During a MCSLE Lunch and Learn

Leslie Coates, Assistant Director of Multicultural Affairs and Student Success, who runs MCSLE’s Lunch and Learns, remarked, “Lunch and Learns always follow what we’re celebrating that month.  We welcomed Ms. Guzman as a guest for Hispanic Heritage Month. We will also host Dr. Ortiz on Wednesday, October 6, for a presentation entitled, ‘The Undocumented Student Movement’s Use of Social Media for Organizing.’ Both sessions are in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month.”

When asked why students should attend a Lunch and Learn, Coates responded, “Not only do students get a free lunch, but they get to hear something that they won’t necessarily hear in the classroom. Lunch and Learns expand students’ knowledge, give them cultural competencies, and explain something that they may never otherwise learn about.”

Last year, MCSLE’s Lunch and Learns looked a little different because of COVID-19.  Though MCSLE continued to have the program, not as many students attended. Coates is hoping that being on-campus and in-person will inspire more students to attend.

Coates says, “We are excited to be back to offer food at each of our Lunch and Learns, and we’re conducting the program as safely as possible. All the food is individually wrapped. And, just having the opportunity to get together is exciting. There is a synergy when you have people together in a room. Right now, students are trying to get used to being in-person. Some students are fully ready; others aren’t quite sure.”

MCSLE is fully taking advantage of the IUP’s new Crimson Common Hour, and Coates hopes that this will allow more students to attend a Lunch and Learn.  Coates also wants faculty to be aware of the program, should they be interested in offering students extra credit or encouraging them to attend. Coates remarks, “If faculty has a question about how our programming can work to fulfill extra credit needs, they should reach out to me (coates@iup.edu). I’m happy to answer any questions they may have.”

So, if you are looking for a free lunch on campus and are available during the Crimson Common Hour, why not attend a MCSLE Lunch and Learn?  You’ll be fed and learn something, too!