What do we call these informal school group meetings?
October 3, 2007 7:45 PM   Subscribe

I'm posting this on behalf of a teacher friend of mine who wants your ideas: A university is developing an initiative in which pairs of professors, across disciplines, will meet up with small groups of first year students during their second semester to discuss themes of interest and promote intellectual engagement. These informal meetings will occur at least four times over a couple of months and can take place anywhere: in seminar rooms, in a dorm lounge, at a restaurant, at a professor's home, at an art gallery. So, what do we call these?

"Study groups" is not an option. We need something catchy.
posted by brownpau to Education (23 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
posted by found missing at 7:47 PM on October 3, 2007

My university sort of does this in the Honors program. It's called Learning Community Groups, or LCG for short. Not very catchy, I suppose, but we remember it because it has one of the much-loved acronyms.
posted by DMan at 7:47 PM on October 3, 2007

My university calls them "freshman seminars", or "advising seminars", depending on how much advisory-type stuff is involved.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 7:48 PM on October 3, 2007

Seminars - unless this term is used for something else at your school.
posted by Coffeemate at 7:51 PM on October 3, 2007

Food for Thought (for the ones in the cafe)
The Learning Cafe
Who Knew Brews
Professors Unplugged
posted by Rumple at 7:54 PM on October 3, 2007

Catchy "boy, this sounds academic and enlightening, lo I drink verily at the fount of knowledge" or catchy "OH MAN HILARIOUS?"
posted by dismas at 7:59 PM on October 3, 2007

posted by stefnet at 7:59 PM on October 3, 2007 [1 favorite]

If old-skool counts as catchy, then colloquia is exactly right.
posted by Quietgal at 8:03 PM on October 3, 2007

gown meeting
FroshJosh, B'Gosh
posted by rob511 at 8:05 PM on October 3, 2007

For that Classical touch -- Symposia? Symposium?
posted by perpetualstroll at 8:12 PM on October 3, 2007 [1 favorite]

Meeting of the Minds?
posted by princesspathos at 8:14 PM on October 3, 2007

Round Tables?
posted by dg at 8:17 PM on October 3, 2007

I'd say 'salons' or 'symposia'.
posted by pompomtom at 8:18 PM on October 3, 2007

"Symposium" has a nice Platonic context, of scholars sitting around getting plastered and talking about sex.
posted by jayder at 8:30 PM on October 3, 2007

Strictly speaking, a symposium should involve booze. Which would make this a very traditional undertaking indeed.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 8:31 PM on October 3, 2007

Inklings also has nice historical overtones.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 8:33 PM on October 3, 2007

My alma mater has these, FIGs, Freshman Interest Groups. But salons/colloquiums/symposiums sound much cooler.
posted by lychee at 10:05 PM on October 3, 2007

Nthing Symposium. We had something similar at my senior school which was called this.
posted by greycap at 10:42 PM on October 3, 2007

I wish this was something that was part of my undergraduate experience. I'd have to insist on 3 professors, though. Are the students assigned proifessors randomly? Sounds good in theory but how about making at least one of them from the student's professed faculty/major?

It sounds like you're trying to start a tradition at your school... this gives you the right to call it whatever the heck you want - if it's succesful, the name'll stick no matter what (if there's a story behind it).

If you want this (assuming that this activity achieves it's goals) to keep going on, maybe:

The Totem Walk (cheeeezy)
Pre-major meeting
Reality check
posted by porpoise at 12:09 AM on October 4, 2007

My program had these and they were formally called freshman seminars, informally called round tables -- and I wish they'd been called salons (so glamorous!) or symposia (since we did drink, albeit underage).
posted by pineapple at 6:27 AM on October 4, 2007

posted by croutonsupafreak at 7:30 AM on October 4, 2007

posted by jquinby at 9:55 AM on October 4, 2007

We called these wine and cheese parties at the University of Chicago. There would be a brief presentation followed by a discussion.

Over in the Romance languages department, you could call them "tertulias." These were held at a friendly bar. Same concept.
posted by tesseract420 at 2:39 PM on October 4, 2007

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