Zags, get ready to learn some manners.

Tomorrow on Tuesday Feb. 12, GU students will get the opportunity for a free four-course meal along with some useful lessons in etiquette. The “Savvy Sophomore Dining and Professional Etiquette Dinner,” taking place in the Hemmingson Ballroom, is co-sponsored by the Career & Professional Development Office and the Gonzaga Student Body Association’s Sophomore Class Representative Ryan Meza.

Meza believes everyone can benefit from learning more about etiquette, regardless of their intended career.

“This is just a good chance for us to learn about skills that are going to be relevant to us very soon,” he said. “Etiquette is something that would help a lot of people who are business majors or even just people who are going to be in a professional environment at some point, which is pretty much all of us.”

Among the topics that will be discussed at the dinner are place settings, napkins, passing, salads, soups, entrees, hosting, toasting, and more. The event is free to attend, but students are encouraged to wear business professional attire.

Meza noted that the event had been offered to juniors and seniors in past years, but said that students often thought that having the event earlier was more beneficial for them as they became involved in more professional activities in their last two years at college.

The event is currently planned primarily for sophomores, but the event is now open to students of all classes; this is the first year that this has been the case. Up to 90 students can participate, along with 10 table hosts.

Ray Angle, the assistant vice president for Career & Professional Development at GU, will be running the event, as he has for the past few years. He is a certified etiquette consultant, having done similar events with up to 250 students at schools like Tampa University, UNC Chapel Hill, Campbell and Illinois State, among others.

Angle shared Meza’s excitement for the dinner. “I just enjoy it when students are engaged,” he said. “They come and ask great questions and then they walk away and they say, ‘Wow, there was so much that I didn't know.’”

He also made it clear that the event was about much more than just sharing a meal.

“We're not just talking about dining,” he said. “We're talking about professional etiquette, like how you behave in the workforce. I think people are sometimes surprised by that.”

Even beyond the future applications and learning, Meza believes students will have a great time enjoying dinner together.

“It’s going to be such a fun social experience as well; you get to dress up, see classmates, have a four-course meal, and get something valuable out of it too,” he said.

Angle is hoping for a big turnout from students of all classes on Tuesday, and that they will come ready to learn.

“I'd like to see our students really get behind this and enjoy it,” he said. “You know, kind of measure their own professional savvy.”

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