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CASTINE, Maine – Maine Maritime Academy’s campus-based etiquette program, “Dining In,” is seeking community volunteers to serve as table hosts and hostesses at upcoming semi-formal dinners on campus. The program, a long-standing program at the college, provides a real-life reception and dining experience for students in preparation for future business and professional social events.
“We believe that understanding how to behave and react during a social function is critical to the upward mobility of our graduates,’ said Capt. Jeff Loustaunau, vice president for enrollment management at MMA. “While a tradition of the Regiment of Midshipmen, this program is a required personal development program for all students regardless of major or program focus prior to graduation.” He explained that the program emphasizes the importance of the overall impression that a graduate presents, providing a way for the college to ensure that everyone knows the basics when heading out into the professional world. “Our community is a tremendous resource and so we hope that they will help us polish the etiquette skills of our students,” he added.
Etiquette instruction is provided to students prior to the event, and students are expected to respond properly to a written invitation to dine, dress appropriately, and conduct themselves at the function as if they were attending a corporate dinner or reception. The evening begins with a reception for 32 students and their hosts and hostesses. The reception includes a formal receiving line, hors d’oeuvres, and conversation. A semi-formal, sit-down meal with plate service follows the reception. The dinner will place volunteer host and hostesses at tables with small groups of students. Throughout the 4-course dinner, students will be expected to demonstrate proper use of tableware and utensils, generate table discussion, appropriately communicate with service staff, and extend courtesies to the host and hostess, as well as to fellow diners. Student guests are expected to formally thank their hosts in writing following the event.