With the goal of providing “a home cooked meal in an amazing atmosphere,” the Outdoor Program (OP) kicks off a weekly meal gathering at their program’s office–the price is optional based on what you want to pay.
A few years ago the Outdoor Program had the weekly meals going, but somewhere between academic quarters and planning trips, they got lost in the shuffle. Now they’re back and Piers Rasmussen, the Gear Manager for the Outdoor Program and who claims to be one of the people with the most enthusiasm for the weekly meals, became the unofficial coordinator and cook (thus far).
The OP’s weekly meals work like this-on Tuesdays around 4:00pm Rasmussen starts cooking and will continue until 6:00pm (as long as people keep showing up, which so far they have). You write your name down, choose the amount you want to pay, and then pay cash or bill the meal to your student account. After that you serve yourself, and enjoy the food and company. Any money that they make over cost goes directly into next week’s meal cost. Rasmussen believes that the biggest draws for students are that they choose what they want to pay and are able to bill their student accounts.
Last week’s meal was BBQ, honey maple chicken and zucchini. Rasmussen was pleased with last week’s turnout, noting that they had just enough food to feed the last person, and they even made a small profit. “This whole thing is turning out to be more awesome than I imagined.” He says that this week there were already more people than last week, and that was with an hour to go.
The crowd was mostly Outdoor Program students and staff, but there were also a couple Emerging Media Digital Arts majors, who walked over from the nearby Digital Media Center, and several others from various majors. An EMDA major, Grant Chisholm admits, “I was going to start a scuba club, then there were burgers,” at which point his plans changed and he opted to eat a burger while discussing scuba diving with Rasmussen, as he grilled patties. Another SOU student, Alessandro, said that he had a break between classes, and heard that he could stop by for a cheap meal. He said, “I’d rather hang out on a porch with like-minded individuals than be in a swarm of freshman under florescent lighting in the Hawk.”
Rasmussen’s not sure what the meal for next week will be, but says that they will brave the cooling weather and BBQ again. After that they’ll move the cooking indoors.
The Outdoor Program is located at 1555 Webster (just South of McLoughlin Hall and the DMC) and hosts their weekly meals on Tuesdays from 4:00-6:00pm and welcome you “come hungry and come with friends.”