Knowing proper etiquette at the table is more than just putting a napkin on your lap and blessing your food.
Held on March 2 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom, the Beta Alpha Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the Upsilon Psi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Florida A&M University (FAMU) Student Health Services, and the FAMU Career Center collaborated to host an etiquette class.
A room filled with a hundred students eagerly listened to guest speaker Juanita Williams about what to do and not to do at the dinner table. Williams, who attended FAMU in 1980, said the university offered a course called Gracious Living that all freshmen were required to take.
Williams, who is also a member of the sorority, expressed the importance of knowing proper etiquette and helping students be prepared to be a part of the professional world after college.
“I hope that in the future etiquette classes will be extended because it is more than proper table manners,” Williams said. “It starts very early on, and they say that the first letter of recommendation is when you walk through the door. We want to make sure our students at FAMU are proper and prepared.”
Knowing proper etiquette at the table includes knowing the order of which utensil to use when eating an appetizer, dinner, and dessert. Also, when ladies excuse themselves from the dinner table, gentlemen are to stand up to pull out her chair, so that she can be excused. When she returns, he is to stand up again to pull out her chair for her to sit back down.
Brehanna Jacobs, a member of the Beta Alpha Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., was at the etiquette class and explained the importance of students having the opportunity to learn about etiquette.
“A lot of students come to college and they go through the professional development courses, but this is a part of the professional development as being a college student,” Jacobs said. “When you do go into the real world after post grad you become in the professional setting and some interviews are conducted in a manner when you need proper etiquette.”
“When you go into settings such as luncheons, weddings, interviews, and all that type of stuff you need proper etiquette,” Jacobs continued.
Cameron Lewis, a member of the Upsilon Psi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., said that everyone should be equipped with etiquette skills in the professional world.
“A lot of people could actually use an etiquette class because not many people know how to conduct themselves within a professional typesetting when it comes to being around very corporate people. I feel like people get a new understanding or knowledge of how to conduct themselves in that particular setting,” Lewis said.
In collaboration with the organizations, FAMU’s Career Center is also dedicated to equipping students with the necessary tools needed to succeed post-graduation.
Shereeda Harrel, the director of the Career and Professional Development Center, told students at the etiquette class that students should utilize the services that the career center offers.
“I am very passionate about making sure our students are prepared to go out and make a good representation of us,” Harrel said. “Knowing which utensils to use and how to be excused from the table. All of those things are very important, knowing proper dining etiquette, and just really being prepared to be do a good professional job representing our university.”
If you were not able to attend the etiquette class, the Career Center is offering an etiquette dinner course on April 25. More information can be found on the FAMU website.