While casually browsing the Internet one day this past summer, senior communication major Alyssa Rosello stumbled upon a new online movement called Spoon University and realized that if it were to be introduced to the Manhattan College community, the college’s student life would be taken by storm.
Spoon University is an official online newspaper guided by the motto, “a food publication for the students by the students.” Through their own college’s chapter of Spoon U, students nationwide can write articles on their various food experiences, food preparations and budget conscious tips on how to eat well both at home and outside.
According to the website, there is currently a “network of 1,000 students at 45 campuses nationwide” who are working together to help all college students “eat intelligently.”
Rosello attended a weekend conference in Manhattan called “Brain Food” to meet the founders of Spoon University, as well as the lead representatives of other major journalism companies such as BuzzFeed and Bon Appetit. She then proposed the idea of starting a campus chapter to one of her closest friends, senior marketing major Alicia Devaney.
The girls immediately created an Instagram account where they announced their intentions to recruit students for the movement. On Wednesday, Sept. 17, the two set out to distribute free homemade cookies and flyers about the Spoon Manhattan chapter to gather more support for their new project.
“We’re looking for writers, photographers, marketers, event planners and videographers for a diverse team,” Devaney said when asked about the kinds of students they wish to add on to their chapter and the process by which students get selected.
“And since we live in one of the biggest cities in the country, everyone has something to say about their eating experiences or even something as simple about ‘the perks of eating peanut butter.’”
“Some think this is only for communication and English majors, but we’re also looking for the biology major to write about nutrition and health, so anyone can contribute in some way,” Rosello added.
The online publication has allowed itself to be flexible and influenced by the tastes of the students. Now it is a strong food resource for students with strict or limited dietary options.
“The other day, I read an article titled ‘The Gluten-Free College,’” Devaney said.
Additionally, the young pioneers of the MC chapter said “Manhattan College is small enough and close enough to food locations of common interest and it is more reliable than any other source because you know who’s writing about the deals and experiences.”
“There’s nothing like this at Manhattan College,” Rosello said when further questioned about their visions and goals for the chapter. “There’s the newspaper and the magazine, but something like this is different because food is a common interest. It brings people together to create a food community to unify the campus. We’re targeting the lower-classmen because we hope that this project will continue for years to come.”
“My goal also is to at least become an official club by the end of the year,” Devaney added. “It will be so much easier for people coming in because we’ll have more money to do things, will be recognized in a different way and more people will know about it, as the first ones, it’s the hardest to launch this project. But, there’s so much potential for people to engage in this so everyone can grow.”
“We’re just here to have fun and bring everyone together,” they said in unison.
As they distributed free cookies and flyers again on Thursday, Sept. 18, many students expressed interest and even a freshman chemical engineering major, Gloria Bauman, rushed after them and inquired about the application process for event planners.
“It’s a great idea, especially for people who are new to the area to learn about new hot spots that people their age like,” Bauman said when asked about her initial thoughts regarding the new chapter.
The Spoon Manhattan chapter also comes with other prospective benefits for members. These include career connections to jobs or internships within the food industry for companies like GrubHub, Seamless or The Food Network Magazine, as well as more local advantages like free dinners or discounts on food.
Such perks are a reflection of Spoon University’s goal to fully invest in the college student’s eating experience. Only time will tell the success of the Spoon Manhattan online newspaper.
To know more about Spoon University visit http://spoonuniversity.com/ or follow the Spoon Manhattan chapter on Instagram @Spoon_Manhattan.