Agape Latte provides coffee and conversation
One of the drawing factors for prospective students at a small school like Assumption is the personal relationships students can form with professors. Between the small class sizes, all classes being taught by professors and the amount of office hours professors have, an Assumption student can get to know a professor as more than just the name on their schedule.
While these opportunities are available to students at nearly every small college across the country, there lies a more unique and personal way for students to get to know professors here at Assumption. The campus event Agape Latte provides a chance for students to get to know faculty and staff members more person- ally in a relaxed setting, completely different from the classroom or from the office.
Held once a month in Charlie’s, Agape Latte consists of two parts: a musical act and a talk by a faculty or staff member. While the talk is the heart of the event, the musical act welcomes everyone to the event. It serves as a mood-setter, giving the feel of a coffee house to Charlie’s, a mood that relaxes everyone present and allows both the students and the faculty or staff member to feel more relaxed and open about their lives. The music is accompanied by coffee, tea and great snacks as well that, if not all consumed, carry over to the talk.
Every talk is different because every member on the faculty and staff here at Assumption is different. The talk typically surrounds the journey and life story of the speaker, with them often describing the mistakes and triumphs they have had in life, and how their faith has affected those moments.
Each Agape Latte event on its own is unique, but there is one constant across them all: each talk gives a student at least one idea, piece of life advice, or moment that will stick with them once they leave Charlie’s for the night. “I only started coming to Agape Latte my senior year,” says senior Malaka Gionet, “but each event has taught me something I not only wish I had known earlier in life, but also something I plan on keeping with me for the future.”
Agape Latte has hosted speakers from nearly every academic department, but also from other various places around campus such as athletics, campus ministry and even Taylor Dining Hall. “I have been coming to Agape Latte for more than a year now, and the variety of the speakers has led not only to an array of talks that are interesting, but they have also introduced me to many faculty and staff members I had not known before,” says senior Kyle Contreras.
Each Agape Latte event is uniquely planned by a core team of thirteen students that does everything from scheduling and set-up to baking and poster making. “We have a great team here,” says junior Benner Sandstrom, “everybody has a role that helps piece together the puzzle of a successful Agape Latte event.”
The core team not only serves the student body by putting on the events, but also gains something for themselves too. “I have made friends, gained a deeper meaning for my life, and have become more aware of my vocation thanks to being on the Agape Latte team,” adds Sandstrom.
Along with putting on their own events, the Agape Latte team also collaborates with other student groups.
In late-March, Agape Latte teamed up with the Interfaith Alliance Group to put on an interfaith dialogue of students that were of different religions. Their flexibility to collaborate with other groups is something they hope to expand on more in the future, but for now, they are focused on their last event of the semester on Wednesday, April 18. “We secured Mrs. T, the Music Ministry Director, to speak at our last event,” says Sandstrom, “It’s going to be a good one.”
Thomas Barringer, a junior, studies biology. He is a staff writer for Le Provocateur.