“Food? That’s Just a Bonus”


— The Daily Utah Chronicle File Photo

This week the Union Programming Council sponsored the Utestagram Gallery Stroll, a ranked selection of student Instagram photos, near the Union’s front desk. Pastries, cookies and tea were provided, luring students to the photos.
Ashley Newhall, a senior in strategic communications and a UPC director, coordinated the gallery and the food. She said most UPC events feature free food.
“It gives students an incentive to come out,” she said.
The table with the food also had information on upcoming UPC events, letting Newhall not only feed students, but also tell them about what’s coming up next for the organization.
Asia Susko, a freshman in biochemistry, and Natalie Pratt, a sophomore in biochemistry, both saw the cookies, but didn’t see the gallery or the advertised events.
“We didn’t look at it,” Pratt said. “We considered it.”
Both Pratt and Susko have been to events at the U where free food was offered, but both said the event itself was always the draw, not the food. At Plazafest, Susko attended and signed up for two clubs, Project SMILE and the Association of Future Female Physicians, neither of which gave out free food.
“We thought it would be fun,” Susko said. “Food? That’s just a bonus.”
Newhall also said food is “an added bonus.”
“Students do want to come to our events,” she said. “It all comes down to our marketing, our presence on social media.”
Ann House, the U’s Personal Money Management Center coordinator, said she has seen students come just for food to the Center’s events. House said she remembers a “fellow with a wife and child” that would come to all of the events for the food, then stay and ask questions.
Megan Carson, the Center’s intern, said workshops are usually held during the lunch hour, which could lead students to just grab whatever food they’re offering and leave. But she said she rarely sees it happen — food usually gets people to come and stay.
Last Monday, the Center held a workshop about ways for students to go on dates without breaking the bank. Carson passed out flyers before the event, telling students that there would be food. She thinks the strategy worked. Around 25 people showed up to the event. The center posts all of its events on Lunchbox, an app that shows you where free food is being served on campus.
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