October 4th marked the first official MMS “cross-section lunch.” This created an opportunity for students in different sections to socialize with each other. This was an experience many students had not had since the summer term.

Students at lunch

Classmates figure out their seating assignments.

Program Format

The MMS program consists of 113 students and for the purposes of scheduling and logistics, students are randomly assigned to one of two sections, A or B. Section A’s classes tend to be earlier in the morning, while Section B’s classes start later in the day. As a result, the only overlap which usually occurs between the two sections is lunch. Many members of the respective sections however chose to go straight home after class for lunch (Section A) or have lunch at home before they come to class (Section B). Indirectly, separating us into sections has resulted in the two sections forming separate, almost parallel communities within the program (this is not to say that students don’t have the opportunity to socialize outside of class hours). Many MMSers, myself included, felt that the two sections were almost isolated from one another.

Meeting in the Middle

The MMSA’s solution to this was to organize a cross-section lunch. (The MMSA is our student government.) Students in both sections of the program were given the chance to get to know one another during the casual one hour lunch. Seats were randomly assigned, thus giving us the chance to move away from the comfortable and familiar circles of friends we’ve formed over the last 3 months and really appreciate the diverse backgrounds and experiences of our colleagues. For me it was a great opportunity to catch up with friends in Section B whom I hadn’t had the chance to speak with in a while. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and hope the MMSA makes it a regular activity.