Students learn good manners

Good manners are like keys. They can open any door. However, many people have not been taught proper etiquette and often “flunk” lunch or dinner. This is why Grambling State University’s Student Support Services hosted an etiquette seminar.
Hazel D. Hunter, the facilitator, made it an interactive seminar and asked the audience questions and chose freshmen Marquitta Jones and Donald Murray as her student demonstrators. She asked them and others what each place setting was used for. Hunter talked about flatware, serving pieces and various glasses. She told students how to set a table and how to use eating utensils. Then students learned how to eat soup, finger foods and bread.

She said, “Eat out of the side of the spoon. Dip the spoon away from yourself and bring it to you. Never bring your head down to the spoon.”

She asked students to name finger foods. They mentioned items such as bread, sandwiches and chicken. She told them that chicken is not a finger food in a formal setting, so they should cut it off of the bone. She told them to break their bread and butter it piece by piece.

In addition to table manners, Hunter spoke about job interviews: wearing proper attire and shaking hands. She spoke about removing nose or tongue jewelry, trimming facial hair, having appropriate nails, not wearing offensive perfume or cologne, wearing black or brown belts and wearing appropriate shoes and colors.

“Remember, you must look the part. Learn to shake hands with people. Give a firm handshake, and never drop your eyes when you are shaking hands. Establish eye contact,” Hunter said.
Cathy Douglas, a retention specialist and advisor with the program, said that they were trying to introduce students to etiquette, whether the students are enhancing themselves or going out to dinner or on an interview.

“We want them to represent GSU and themselves well. Many of the students in our program are first-generation college students, and they enjoy the seminar and are amazed at the things they do not know,” said Douglas.

She said that Hunter was chosen because she is a resident of Grambling and has worked in the home economics field for many, many years. “This is part of Mrs. Hunter’s expertise. She has facilitated etiquette workshops for other organizations,” said Douglas.

Jones, a freshman from Vidalia, said that she thought “it was a great experience, something that everybody should do.

“Student Support Service helps students. If you struggle in a subject, there is tutoring. If you need someone to talk to, mentors are available. This is a good program,” said Jones.
Murray said that the etiquette seminar was a brilliant idea. He said, “I learned many things, such as how to eat properly at a formal setting and the proper way to use eating utensils.”

Murray said that an etiquette seminar is something that everyone can benefit from. “Like Mrs. Hunter informed us, you never know where you may go in life, so you need to be prepared,” said the freshman from Tallulah.