Students Cook for Community Potluck

The Lawrenceville community gathered in the Abbott Dining Hall this past Sunday for the fifth annual Community Potluck to share dishes that represent many different cultures.

The Lawrenceville community gathered in the Abbott Dining Hall this past Sunday for the fifth annual Community Potluck to share dishes that represent many different cultures. According to Assistant Director of Multicultural Affairs for Campus Life Felicia Aikens, the purpose of the Community Potluck is to “give [the] Lawrenceville community the opportunity to gather and share something that is important to them and their cultures.” Student Council Diversity Representative Jax Floyd ’20 said that the Community Potluck allows “faculty and students to explore different unknown cultures and learn more about other members of the community.”

The members of Lawrenceville community were involved in the event in various ways. Faculty volunteered to host students in their kitchens or prepared their own food. Some students were paired up with a faculty member and prepared food with a faculty member’s assistance. Students from the Diversity Council were involved in planning the event, decorating the dining hall, and organizing clean-up. Director of Special Events and Parent Programs Dorothy Quinn contacted parents about cooking meals or purchasing food from the local restaurant for the event and encouraged involvement from parents. Reflecting on the event, Aikens said, “One thing I heard from many people is that they met a lot of new people. For example, parents could meet their kids’ friends and other parents.”

The Diversity Council, the organizer of the event, paid special attention to “finding a time when both faculty and students are mutually convenient for preparing the meal and ensuring that there are enough food to serve all the participants,” Aikens said.

In previous years, Community Potluck was held behind the Kirby Math and Science Building. This year, the event was held in Abbott, where setting up was more convenient. Some of the considerations for future Community Potlucks is sending sign-ups of the event prior to it so that the organizers have a better estimate of participants and of the servings to prepare.

Many diversity clubs participated in the event. Pan Asian Alliance (PAA) prepared three different Boba drinks, including green tea, chai tea, and brown sugar milk tea. According to the Co-President of the PAA, Rachelle Cho ’21, they shared boba drinks because many people don’t know that bubble tea is a Taiwanese drink. Reflecting on cooking for the event, Cho said, “Although it took us four hours to prepare a meal, it was great to see people enjoying the drink.”

An Vo ’20 cooked Vietnamese rice paper salad, Banh Trang Tron. On preparing a meal for the event, Vo said, “It was nice to share a part of my childhood with the community through the Vietnamese street food that I enjoyed eating as a child.” Olivia Chima ’23 and her mother cooked Jollof rice, a traditional nigerian meal that is mainly made with white rice, tomato, and various spices. Chima’s mother cooked food at home and brought it to the Campus to share a part of Nigerian culture with the community.

Merrin Foltz ’20 and Lauren Recto ’20 cooked Lumpia, a traditional Filipino spring roll, to share a part of their culture. Recto reflected that it was “fun to bond with a friend” and with faculty members by preparing for the event together. Reflecting on the event, Floyd said, “It was a good opportunity to speak to some of the parents who I never met before, to meet new members of the community, and to [converse] with fellows and teachers through the event.”