The Community Benefits of Res Life Dinner


Residential Life Dinners are back; while some students grumble at having to add another event to an already busy schedule, others greatly appreciate the opportunity to dress up and interact with fellow Wildcats.
Res Life takes place on the first blue Friday of the month during the fall and spring. There are usually three in the fall and three in the spring. Dave Koritkoski and Erin Davey organize the events intending to bring the boarding community together.
Koritkoski, Associate Dean of Students, spoke on the origin of the formal get-togethers.
“We started the Residential Life Dinners six years ago in response to students’ desires to have more dress up opportunities, more formal opportunities, more sit-down meals,” he said. “It was something our students had seen at other schools and many of the faculty had been involved with at other schools.”
Williston used to have seated meals every night after athletics and afternoon activities before and during the merger to become Willi”ston Northampton School, Koritkoski explained. While he didn’t want to go back to that, knowing students wouldn’t necessarily enjoy it, the school came up with a happy medium.
“We think they’re really nice opportunities to simply bring the boarding community together,” he said. “It would be better if we had a bigger dining hall, to have the whole school there. I don’t like doing things that are exclusionary of the day students.”
Ronan Robinson, a post graduate student from Milton, Mass., said Res Life Dinners may be more beneficial at the start of the year.
I think the Res Life is a good way to gather the community, it would just be better with non-assigned seating,” he said. “I think it is a way for people to branch out, which is more useful at the start of the year.”
Pierceson Squires, a junior from Wilmington, N.C., enjoys meeting new people, and mentioned she likes getting dressed up.
“It’s something to look forward to on a blue Friday,” she said. “I also like the assigned seating because it makes you sit with people you wouldn’t usually surround yourself with, and helps keep bonds with people outside your friend group.”
Kim Polin, Director of Curriculum and a dorm parent in EMV, treats Res Life Dinner as an opportunity to meet new students, yet understands how it may not be what people want to do with their free time amidst a busy schedule.
“I know that it can feel like something extra in our busy days, but I’m always happy once I’m there and enjoy the time I get to spend with my advisees, dorm, and students I haven’t had the chance to meet yet,” she said.
Some day students wish they could join in on the dinners, but Sarah Markey, Senior Class President and day student, explained how it is important to keep Res Life to only the boarding community.
“While I am a big advocator of all community events, I think there are some spaces that should only be for boarding students, as they have a uniquely different experience than day students,” she said. “I really value full school gatherings like Convocation and the Winter Banquet. However, it makes sense for Res Life to be limited to only boarding students.”