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Soup and Salad to Feed the Soul

by Brianna Jackson, '16

After enjoying soup and salad, Smith students along with other Smith community members have the opportunity to start discussions, chat with each other, and make new friends.

Food is a powerful unifier, and after a long week at Smith, a delicious lunch with welcoming company is something everyone could appreciate. To satisfy this need throughout the school year, students and Smith community members would go to Bodman Lounge every Friday afternoon for “Soup, Salad and Soul.” This program is a student-led discussion group that provides an appetizing lunch and the equally decadent opportunity of tackling a range of topics suggested by the students.

Each week, the meal of soup and salad was carefully prepared by Ellen Bryer ‘15J and Meredith Shanoski ‘16. These two cooks bonded over their mutual love of food, and their hard work and ingenuity in the kitchen came together every week in their consistently delectable meals. Whether they were serving warm red pepper soup topped with crumbled goat cheese or a crisp avocado salad, those attending "Soup, Salad and Soul" could always count on something satisfying and delicious to eat.

After everyone finished marveling over the food, the riveting conversation would begin. Students took turns leading the discussion about whatever pressing issue they wanted to hash out. Discussions included broader topics like participation in community service or our role models, but sometimes students would introduce current events into the mix, like the recent controversy of the commencement speaker. The multitude of perspectives of the diners enriched the discourse. The participants would not always agree, but everyone was respectful. After every discussion, participants would leave pondering the heightened understanding they received from challenging and defending their own worldviews.

Between the home-cooked meals and insightful exchanges, "Soup, Salad and Soul" provided students the opportunity to make new friends while eating some of the most delicious lunches on campus. This relaxing and open atmosphere is perfect for all Smithies, and everyone can benefit from the sanctuary the group provides.