During a mid-day lunch rush on Monday, behind waves of students juggling square pizza and ramen, three students sat around a table in a quiet corner of the Pauli Murray College dining hall. A laminated piece of paper hung on the wall above the table. “A site for PauliMur Bonding,” it read. “Sit here if you want to meet someone new!”
Created by Head of Pauli Murray College Tina Lu earlier this month, the table enables students in the new college to meet their fellow PauliMurs. Lu said the idea for the new table came from a casual conversation she had with Pauli Murray juniors. Lasya Sreepada ’19, who helped come up with the idea and the witty name for the table, said that while Pauli Murray has come a long way for such a young college, concerns remain that many students don’t know one another. Lu shared these sentiments, noting that since all upper-level students are transfers, they haven’t had the chance to spend years together.
“We hope the new tables will provide a space where PauliMurs and other students can meet new people without the awkwardness of having to ask someone if you can join them,” Sreepada said. “The idea is that everyone who sits at this table has the same purpose: to meet and engage with different people.”
Shortly after printing out and laminating the sign now posted above the table, Lu’s husband, Associate Head of Pauli Murray College Stuart Semmel, announced the creation of the table in the college’s Facebook group.
The table has seen most of its success at dinner hours, Sreepada said.
But not everyone is on the same page. One of the three students at the table for lunch was Hazzeena Mohamed Jabarullah ’18, an Ezra Stiles student in the Visiting International Students Program. Jabarullah said she did not realize that the table had any special purpose.
“Not many people know that this initiative exists,” Jabarullah said. “People who usually take the seats at this table take them because they are free.”
Nicolaus Fernandez ’18 of Davenport College was another of the three sitting at the table Monday. Fernandez, too, said he did not know that the table was a bonding table. He suggested increasing the size of the sign to make the table’s purpose more clear. But he said he thought the idea was “great … because Pauli Murray has a lot of new people.”
Pauli Murray College is located at 130 Prospect Street.
Sammy Westfall | firstname.lastname@example.org