Bates welcomed a chapter of Spoon University—a “national food publication with the goal of uniting college students around food and food-related topics”—which was co-founded by Isabella Der Priore ’19. The Bates Student sat down with Del Priore to gain a better understanding of Spoon University and the goals of the chapter at Bates.
This interview was edited for brevity and grammatical errors.
Mariam Hayrapetyan: What are the goals of Spoon University? What are some thing the chapter is trying to achieve?
Isabella Del Priore: The goals for Spoon University are to give college students an everyday food resource through an online blog-style website. As a chapter here at Bates, we will be running our own website specific to Bates and our unique culture with respect to food and food-related topics. It is a way to unite students around a common passion for food, whether that’s writing about food, eating food, sharing recipes, or photographing food. It gives students experience in journalism and teaches valuable marketing and social media skills, as well as how to effectively run, and maintain an online publication.
MH: Why did you decide to open a chapter at Bates?
IDP: I decided to start a chapter of Spoon University at Bates because I have always been passionate about cooking and baking as well as food photography as a way of sharing recipes. I also love to write, so Spoon University was the perfect platform to unite those two passions. I feel that this type of online, easily accessible food publication is something that would appeal to a Bates audience.
MH: What are the leadership roles, and how was the decision as to who should fill the roles made?
IDP: The leadership roles have been filled. The roles are as follows:
Editorial Director– responsible for approving content of articles proposed by the writers; editing drafts of the articles and giving suggestions to writers before publication on the site; making sure the quality of the site is up to certain standards; this position is held by Isabella Del Priore ’19.
Marketing Director– responsible for organizing club activities, events on campus, collaborations with local food stores and restaurants, and posting on social media such as Instagram and Facebook to share with the Bates community and beyond what our chapter is doing; this position is held by Amy Turtz ’19.
Photo Director– responsible for coordinating the photographers and writers so that there are photos that accompany each of the published articles as well as photos that can be used for event flyers and posters and to be posted on our chapter’s social media; this position is held by Emily Lufburrow ’19.
Video Director– responsible for creating video content to be put up on our chapter’s website; videos are often “How To” videos demonstrating a certain simple recipe; this position is likely to be held by Jack Doyle ‘18 (he is in the process of being interviewed).
The leaders are selected by the national chapter of Spoon University which is an organization run out of New York City. Each applicant was selected based on an extended application process that involved personal questions about leadership qualities and experiences, a test of skills necessary for the desired position, and an over the phone interview with Spoon University headquarters in NYC. In the future, the Bates chapter of the club, and not the national chapter will select leaders.
MH: Do you have anything specific planned for this year?
IDP: As of right now, we are still trying to get the online publication up and running, so we do not have an extensive list of planned events yet, but we will soon, as we are having our first meeting this week. We plan to have new articles posted to the site each week and roughly one event every month or two. Some event ideas include hot chocolate on the Quad, simple cooking classes, and trips to Portland to sample foods from different restaurants and then write reviews.
MH: Given that members will be writing articles, what will be content of the articles?
IDP: The articles will all be related to food in some way, but beyond that, the writer can choose any topic of interest to them. Generally the articles have a fun and easy-to-read tone. They are meant to be easily accessible and the topics have to be presented in a way that is clear and concise and gets to the point fast with a lot of pictures.