Traditional students who live on campus are unable to see their families and can’t afford to make it home for family events often. This is why Rosalinda Reyes, a marketing intern for Chartwell’s, partnered with the staff of Chartwells to host a Gatsby-inspired dinner for those who attended the Lincoln dining center that evening Thursday Sept. 27. This was Reyes’ second themed dinner event that she has been involved with. Chartwells hosts events in the Union corner store as well. In the month of August, they hosted a Circus dinner theme. Though there have been various themed events in the past, Reyes plans to host a themed dinner once a month and invites every Washburn student to join in on the fun.
Reyes’ inspiration came from her Hispanic culture and the parties that her families held. She described her feelings of nostalgia when attending the events that Washburn organized for students, and she wondered if any other students had mutual feelings. She decided to try her best to incorporate her passion for helping others, as well as her enjoyment for having fun, by hosting these college dinner parties.
“The people who have been working here, are beyond phenomenal, they will go over the moon to help you with anything. They make me feel a little bit more at home every time I come here. I want to replicate that for anyone else on campus.”
Each member of the Chartwells staff, including Reyes, is responsible for coming up with a theme and decorating the hall and corner store in relevance to the event and the theme that corresponds with it.
The founders of the events come together to create a theme, then create a menu that is fun, tasty and relevant to that theme. The dining area was decorated with matte black streamers, which dressed the dining hall with elegance. They also hung golden streamers to add to the party atmosphere of the theme. The Gatsby Dinner started at 4:30 p.m. and was put away at 7:30 p.m. This specific event treated the guests to a specialty menu that consisted of a tasty salmon and mashed potatoes dish or an alfredo dish, decorated with garlic bread. All meals were accompanied by two different flavors of mocktail lemonade; Daisy and Gatsby. A mocktail is non-alcoholic cocktail-style beverage, created to mock a cocktail for the simple fun of the party.
The desserts that were served that evening were sugar cookies, vanilla and chocolate cupcakes, with The Great Gatsby’s ‘watching eyes’ to attend the desserts. Alongside the dinner was the photobooth area. The photobooth area consisted of fun Gatsby themed photo props and a cinematic background for guests get their friends in a special photo to capture their memories during the Gatsby dinner.
The event was a surprise to most of the students who attended, and they were quite shocked when they entered the room. However, the events are still new to the community. Reyes hopes to expand the awareness of these themed dinner events throughout the Washburn Community. The Chartwells staff organizes these events as a substitute special occasion dinner on months that dont have national holidays.
“These events give students a place to relax and also to have fun. The chance to get away from school, and be able to enjoy food and just be able to relax and have fun with each other,” Emily Walthall, sophomore and cashier at the Lincoln dining hall, said.
The dinner costs no more than any other meal at the Lincoln Dining hall and is welcome to every student. The events were explained to be a fun, party-like experience where you are welcome to dress up according to the theme and enjoy yourself and your friends’ company over a carefully prepared meal at your home away from home. Chartwells staff looks forward to sharing a laugh with you at their next event!