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October 19, 1998

Interim University Club to hold its first luncheon

By Francine Tyler

UCSC faculty and staff are invited to attend the first luncheon of the Interim University Club on Thursday, October 29.

The luncheon, which takes place at noon at University House, is one of eight such luncheons scheduled this academic year. The lunches were planned in response to a survey of faculty and staff that showed strong support for a facility where the two groups can meet and socialize.

"It has been suggested for some time that there are lots of reasons to have some of the functions of a university club on campus," said Professor Roger Anderson, who is chair of the 13-member Chancellor's Advisory Committee on a Faculty and Staff Center.

A faculty and staff center is seen as a place where faculty and staff from across the campus can meet each other in an informal atmosphere and where visitors--including speakers and friends of the campus--may be entertained.

A center could also improve communications for faculty and staff and "provide a general sense of community," Anderson said.

The advisory committee mailed surveys to 3,160 members of the campus community at the end of the last academic year. The committee received responses from a total of 1,051 faculty and staff (33 percent). Of those who responded, 67 percent supported developing a center for faculty and staff.

A majority also indicated that such a facility should be centrally located on campus and include a restaurant, a lounge for socializing, and rooms for meetings, seminars, and conferences. (More details on the survey will be available sometime this quarter, when the survey results are expected to be released.)

The development of such a center is currently in the planning stages, Anderson said. One site under consideration is the third floor of the future dining commons building for Colleges Nine and Ten. The proposed site is centrally located, has good pedestrian and shuttle access, and could be used as a summer conference facility, Anderson said.

If funding is secured and the project approved, the facility could be completed by fall 2001.

In the meantime, the Interim University Club luncheons are seen as a way to realize some of the benefits a club could offer, Anderson said. "The luncheons will be times for socializing as well as to do the intellectual and educational business of the campus."

In addition to individuals attending, it is envisioned that departments, divisions, and colleges will reserve tables as groups, he said.

Eight luncheons will be offered on Thursday afternoons this year. After October 29, luncheons are scheduled for November 19, January 14, February 4 and 25, April 8 and 29, and May 20.

The buffet-style lunches will cost $10 per person and are catered by Sodexho/Marriott. The first seating starts at noon, with a second seating at 1:30 p.m. if there is sufficient demand. Each seating will accommodate a maximum of 50 people. Each luncheon will have a theme (October's is Italian) and include coffee and dessert.

Reservations are required by 5 p.m. two days before the luncheon. Anderson said he hopes people will plan ahead and come to several lunches during the year.

For more information or to make a reservation, call (831) 459-5271.

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