As the Academic Year wraps up, and many students prepare for their final weeks of being on campus before the summer, residence students come together to have fun one more time. Paul O’Driscoll, Director of Residences Hall Programs, agreed to answer a few questions about the history and purpose of the Residence Banquet.
The Quill: Can you give a little history about how long Residence Banquets have been held and the inspiration behind it?
Paul O’Driscoll: Residence banquets have been going on for at least 40 years. I attended them as an undergraduate at BU in the mid 1970s. They have always been popular: they are a celebration of the end of the term, as well as an opportunity for residents to have a more formal style of meal and enjoy each other’s company.
TQ: As Director of Residences Hall Programs, what role do you play in the organizing of these events? How involved are the students?
PO: I’m pleased to say that the students organize the entire event: from setting the date, to booking Harvest Hall, to choosing the menu, the guest list, the theme, the entertainment, and the program. It really is a student-led team effort!
TQ: Was there a particular Banquet year that stood out to you, and what made it memorable?
PO: They are all really special in their own way. When I’m standing on the stage introducing the RAs, the ARAs, and the Student Programmers I take a few seconds to carefully look around at all the people in the room, and without fail I see everyone laughing and talking with each other, enjoying the moment and the occasion. It’s times like these that I’m reminded how fortunate I am to have had a career that involves working with, and for students.
TQ: Why should students attend the Residence Banquet?
PO: Everyday life can be a bit repetitive, even for students. I think it’s important to step outside of the normal routine, put on the best clothes that you brought, clean up, and come out to an event organized for students, by students. Instead of rushing through a meal: just relax and have some wine and talk to your friends and maybe even meet someone new. Tell some stories, take some pictures: decompress and get ready for the exam period. There are so many things about university life that will soon enough become a distant memory, and then completely forgotten: time spent talking with each other over a fantastic dinner is time well spent, and will likely be remembered for a very long time.
Republished from The Quill print edition, Volume 107, Issue 29, April 11th, 2017.