By Victor Garcia
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, October 5, 2004
More than 75 students who can't tell their salad fork from their dinner fork or their wine glass from their water glass will gather in the Rincon Room in the Student Union Memorial Center tonight to brush up on basic dining etiquette in a business environment.
For many people who've had dinner with their boss or an interview over lunch, dining tends to become an adventure and a self-conscious experience, said Marcia Klipsch, assistant director of the Center for Retailing and Consumer Sciences.
The etiquette dinner, co-hosted by Students in Free Enterprise program and Kohl's, will help many fine-tune their approach to eating in business settings and help ease the pressure in high-tension situations, Klipsch said.
"People are uncomfortable about how to eat properly," Klipsch said. "That affects how you do your business and whether you're confident or not."
Seventy-five spots were available and all are sold out.
"We have had a tremendous response," Klipsch said. "I think that shows a demand."
Dinner patrons can expect four courses: soup, salad, a main course and dessert.
Klipsch said she will be directing and advising students during the meal.
"We'll eat and discuss this whole thing while you go along," Klipsch said.
Klipsch, who puts together and hosts business etiquette meals as a side business, believes there is a demand for this type of education.
The dinner cost $5 and because of the big response, Klipsch said there might be plans for future etiquette dinners.
Some students believe the program will help people.
"I think it's smart because a lot of kids need this training," said Brandon Parrill, a pre-business freshman. "It gives you a start in the business world."
One student believes you can see the students' lack of refinement around campus and their need for this sort of training.
"It's actually not a bad idea. If you look around campus, people eat like slobs," said Charlie Kuoni, a journalism freshman. "A little brush-up isn't bad."
Theresa Rodriguez, a business marketing junior who participated in the course last year, said she learned a lot from it.
"It was great - it showed you how to act, the proper thing to do. It was very beneficial," Rodriguez said.
Students who attend must dress business casual.
"I learned a lot about manners and it was fun," said Alex Lombardi, an undeclared freshman who went to a similar program last year.