Lunch Roulette offers juniors connections, support and free food

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    Wisdom, support and free food were three things that juniors hoped to gain by signing up for Lunch Roulette, and they said they were not disappointed. 

    Lunch Roulette, which took place April 6-10, is a program through TCU’s Student Development Services (SDS). Juniors are paired with a TCU faculty or staff member that has similar interests.

    “Our intention is to connect people with the possibility they’ll continue that relationship in some sort of mentoring capacity,” Keri Cyr, the director of the sophomore and junior year experience, said.

    The student-mentor pair then meets for lunch to discuss careers, graduate schools, internships and healthy lifestyles, Cyr said.

    “I truly think it’s genius,” said Cortney Gumbleton, the suicide prevention outreach coordinator for the TCU Counseling and Mental Health Center.

    Gumbleton said because first-year students have so many services, this is a good way to continue supporting students throughout their time at TCU.

    “By the time they are sophomores and juniors, I don’t want to say they are forgotten about, but, you know, they are assumed to have been integrated,” Gumbleton said.

    Karrabi Malin, the director of student teaching and community partnership, agrees. She said that having a support system for all students is important.

    “If you have something to kind of keep that momentum, and then they kind of network among the colleges and departments, I think that’s a great thing,” Malin said.

    Through Lunch Roulette, Tom Elias, a junior philosophy major, connected with Malin for the first time. He said she offered advice about studying abroad.

    “I told him he needs to consider studying abroad before he graduates,” Malin said. “Even if he can’t do it a semester, definitely the spring break trip.”

    If the student-mentor pair decided to eat in Market Square, SDS paid for both lunches.

    “I think that was more incentive to do it, to meet up with someone,” Elias said.

    Jalen Monday, a junior music composition major, said his faculty pair Sean Crotty, a TCU geography instructor, gave him advice on making connections, graduate school and also on the best places to get free food, like in front of the library on Mondays and Jarvis Hall.

    “If I could minor in something as a music major, it’d probably be free food,” Monday said. “Mr. Crotty was a food advocate as well.”

    Both Gumbleton and Malin said they signed up for Lunch Roulette to meet new students.

    “I love connecting with students in any way possible,” Gumbleton said. “I just like being the go-to gal for students if I can.”