Section: Features

Greeks and faculty fill up on discussion over lunch

Greeks and faculty fill up on discussion over lunch

by Cora Markowitz

Kenyon’s Greek life may be known for throwing its fair share of parties, but members of Greek organizations say that its academic side is often overlooked or dismissed.
This year, Greek Council has taken new steps to foster a relationship between professors and Greek students in order to promote academics in the Greek community.
Manjul Bhusal Sharma ’16, current academic coordinator and next year’s president of Greek Council, organized a program for Greek students to interact outside the classroom with professors to learn and discuss subjects that they might not get to talk about in their day-to-day classes.
Through the Faculty-Greek Lunches program, Bhusal Sharma, who writes for the Collegian’s features section, hopes to bring together students and professors by having them sit down to discuss a topic together over lunch at the Kenyon Inn.
“Kenyon advertises learning outside of class and about things that a certain course might not cover, or things that someone might be interested in but they don’t have the time for because of scheduling conflicts,” Bhusal Sharma said. “So that’s when I had this idea. The main aim of this program is to bridge the gaps — if there are any existing gaps — between faculty and Kenyon Greeks, and let both parties know about each other’s work and the impact they’ve made on campus.”
Bhusal Sharma was able to get the program going thanks to funding from the Kenyon College Community Development Fund (KCCDF), which contributed $900.
“By funding this series of lunches,” Executive Assistant to the President and Provost Pamela J. Faust said, “We hope to see not only faculty gain a greater appreciation for the work done by our students in Greek organizations, but to see our students gain a sense for how they are viewed on campus now … the intent of the KCCDF is to facilitate new opportunities for students to gain great ‘life advice’ outside of the classroom.”
The first of the lunches, which will occur every other week, took place last Wednesday, April 9 at the Kenyon Inn. Ennis Edmonds, associate professor of religious studies, and Yang Xiao, associate professor of philosophy, led a discussion on the topic, “How is Religion Possible Today?”
Both professors brought up thought-provoking questions. “We probably have the largest churches and the largest mosques we have ever had in history today, Edmonds said. “People give different answers to this and one of the answers lies in the limit of science. Science tells us how, but science doesn’t tell us why. Is the only reality that which we can touch and taste?”
The lively debate made the hour fly by, with every attendee engaging in the discussion, debating a highly contentious topic in a respectful yet intense manner. “I thought it went great,” Bhusal Sharma said, “because the two professors were really stimulating the students to participate and they had different opinions about the topic, which made it even more fun.”
The program may be new, but Bhusal Sharma said that its the structure has already been determined.
“Every week before the event, like two weeks before the event is supposed to happen, I call for suggestions from Greeks,” said Bhusal Sharma. “… I ask them about topics they want to discuss or professors they would want to have lunch … then I bring it up in the Greek Council meeting, and we decide what sounds like a good idea.”


Comments for this article have closed. If you'd like to send a letter to the editor for publication, please email us at