Lauren Jackson, Staff Writer
The Student Alumni Association (SAA) hosted their annual Etiquette Dinner on the 11th floor of the library on Tuesday, March 7. The free event aimed to help students prepare for job interviews and dinner functions following graduation.
The dinner consisted of a three course meal with intermittent tips and presentations on proper manners in dinner gatherings. The tips ranged from proper silverware usage to correct handshake form. Hands-on skills and presentation were intermingled to provide practice and instill the topics.
Each table consisted of “guests” and a “host”. The host would lead the table in the proper dinner etiquette and correct improper form. They would also address any questions from the presentation. The table setup allowed students to practice in a comfortable setting among peers, while learning for professionals.
Sammy Jo Hosler, an SAA Ambassador has attended the event for three years. Hosler says, “I like being able to see what I already know, and also what new thing I can learn.”
Hosler is active within SAA, and enjoys the many facets the club has to offer. “SAA is a club that helps students prepare for life after college, while also having fun in college. There are both professional and fun events,” says Hosler.
Alan Renfroe, the Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, co-hosted the event. According to Renfroe, the dinner is in its 10th year. Each year more students attend the event, as SAA earns more recognition on campus as a new student organization. “When we first started it, it was difficult to spread the word. It grew when professors got on board and began offering extra credit for their students to attend,” says Renfroe.
This year, there were 150 seats open for reservation. With the growing demand from students, SAA is looking for sponsors to help make the dinner possible for both the Spring and Fall semesters. According to Renfroe, the most rewarding part of providing the event is the feedback. “Because we have hosted the dinner for 10 years, I love hearing back from young alumni that have used the skills they learned at the dinner. It is one of those things that you need to know, but do not know you need to know.”
In addition to the dinner, SAA hosts multiple events for students. Events range from professional to fun. The Tuesday following spring break, SAA will host mock interviews. Social events include game nights, dinners, bowling, and oozeball among others. “We want to create memories for students on campus,” says Renfroe.
Membership in SAA has tripled in the last several years. “Our organization is just now gaining popularity on campus. Some of the things we have been part of include the “Fear the Beak” tshirts and slogan,” says Renfroe.
SAA is a branch of the Alumni Association specifically for students. “It is the crossroads of where students and alumni meet,” says Renfroe.
Students can apply for membership to SAA by visiting the Alumni Office Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 4:30 PM, or by mailing applications to: JSU Alumni Office, ATTN: Alan Renfroe, 700 Pelham Rd. North, Jacksonville, AL 36265.