Oct. 9 marked the beginning of a series of dining events for graduate students known as Two Dollar Tuesdays, sponsored by the Graduate Student Council and the Large Event Fund. 125 students out of the 150 who bought tickets attended the sold-out event, which was intended to give graduate students an opportunity to socialize over dinner.
The budget-priced offering featured “adult beverages” and a choice between chicken parmesan or vegetarian cheese ravioli catered from the Pacific St. Cafe, according to an e-mail sent to the graduate community.
The new Dean of Graduate Students, Steven R. Lerman, gave a brief talk, and and GradRat, the graduate ring committee made a presentation. GradRat “had a sales booth, provided some sandwiches, and raffled off some flash memory drives,” wrote co-organizer and GSC Activities Committee Chair Kevin A. McComber in an e-mail.
Graduate Student Council President Leeland B. Ekstrom G said that based on comments around the table he was sitting at during the event, “grad students would like the opportunity to dine with other students ... on a semi-regular basis” as “there are very few communal dining options” for graduate students. Although MIT’s four dining halls, located in four undergraduate dormitories (Baker, McCormick, Next, and Simmons) are open to all students, Ekstrom said that factors such as location makes it difficult for graduate students to use; there are no dining halls in graduate residences.
“We’re planning to invite new faculty members to mingle with grad students” and considering catering or entertainment subject to budget constraints, McComber said. He added that the GSC would like to have the event every month and increase the number of attendees to 200.
It would be easier to plan fewer larger events since getting enough volunteers for each date is the biggest hurdle, according to McComber. “We’re always looking for more people to help out,” he said.
Ekstrom said that students at the event told him that they “were willing to pay more than two dollars”, so if needed the ticket price could be increased to three dollars. However, the cost would still be subsidized by the GSC.
Future ticket sales will be online, McComber said. He anticipates an increase in the number of ticket sales. He also added that the people who wanted tickets but didn’t get them were put on a waiting list, and will get preference in ticket sales for the next TDT.
Ekstrom called the event “fairly successful.” The next TDT is scheduled for December 11 in Lobdell, with 175 tickets for sale.