For many first-year students, particularly those in residence, cooking and eating healthy meals is a struggle. With the help of Spoon University, one first-year student is working to support her peers, while creating a new and vibrant food community on campus.
Spoon University, an online food publication based in the U.S., was founded in 2013 by two female students who wanted to improve their own knowledge about food and cooking skills, and share it with students like themselves. The organization now boasts 250 chapters in 200 cities, providing thousands of digital resources created by students for students.
Jillian Rogers, a first-year student intending to pursue medicine and a resident of College Quarter, is in the process of launching her own chapter of Spoon University at the U of S. Rogers feels that first year of university can be a complicated learning experience for many new students.
“For students living in residence … this is likely the first time they’ve been solely responsible for cooking meals, buying groceries, doing laundry and managing appointments. It can be overwhelming, to say the least. Between classes, labs, extracurricular and socializing, finding the time to cook may be impossible. Some students may not even know how to cook anything other than microwavable popcorn or macaroni,” Rogers said, in an email to the Sheaf.
According to the Spoon University constitution, the main goals of the organization are to give students the tools to create a sustainable community, based around healthy eating, on their campus and to provide them with experience in food, journalism, online media and marketing.
Rogers explains that each chapter of Spoon must publish four articles and two videos per month and that articles can fit into a variety of categories: recipe, review, personal narrative, news, how-to, profiles and experiential. Any student can apply online to be a contributor to Spoon University at the U of S as a writer, marketer, photographer or videographer by visiting the chapter website.
Rogers believes that Spoon University presents exciting leadership opportunities for students.
“Spoon directors and contributors have a lot of responsibility. Like any job, members have deadlines, goals and standards to uphold,” Rogers said. “Therefore, members will develop and hone their communication, interpersonal and work ethic skills … These positions look great on a resume, and can offer valuable experience for those looking to pursue professional jobs.”
Rogers also feels that Spoon will offer a unique online community to readers and viewers that speaks specifically to life as U of S student.
“Readers will get to hear all about the latest food [and] health trends first from a source they can truly comprehend. Our members will also research issues directly relating to Saskatoon and Saskatchewan. You’ll learn about local Saskatchewan products, the best places to eat on campus and around the city, Saskatchewan’s role in agriculture and life hacks for the busy student,” Rogers said. “By analyzing the hits on our content, we can bring students more of what they want to see. We write and create for our fans.”
As editorial director of the new U of S chapter, Rogers is currently hiring a directorial team, for which Spoon University will provide an online leadership training session in early February. She expects that the U of S chapter will be ready for launch after the February break.
Although the job of editorial director at a new chapter is a big commitment, especially for a first-year student, Rogers is up for the challenge.
“Right now, I’m most excited for setting a launch date and building the momentum and awareness on campus. This past week has just been a blur. Between emails, interviews, info sessions and online orientations, I almost feel like I’m living in an alternate universe. Being an active chapter seems like a dream at the moment, but I know that setting a date and working on content will make the dream legit. Being able to contribute to Huskie pride is such an amazing feeling, and I’m incredibly grateful for the support I’ve received from the campus community.”
Jessica Klaassen-Wright / News Editor
Photo: Jillian Rogers / Supplied