UCF students receive training in etiquette-correctness
Over 200 students attended CELs annual etiquette dinner
By Krista Zilizi
UCF students spent the evening in etiquette training at the annual Etiquette Dinner on Nov 3.
UCFs Consultants for Effective Leadership (CEL) invited more than 200 students to attend the dinner this year to educate them on proper dining etiquette.
CEL arranged formal table settings, hired ballroom dance professionals and asked UCFs string quartet to provide music at the mock-dinner event.
Etiquette instructor Julie Dern, director of the Orlando Academy of Etiquette and Protocol, instructed students on the dining dos and donts. By the end of the evening, Dern addressed over 65 dining etiquette policies and answered students questions throughout the dinner. Dern provided detailed instructions in American Style (switching hands to hold utensils) versus Continental Style dining. She explained how to hold, maneuver and position silverware correctly using each style.
She stressed the importance of proper communication skills such as smiling, making eye contact, greetings and handshakes.
Dern also warned students to avoid committing the three most common and obvious etiquette mistakes many Americans make. Eating too fast, taking too big of bites and overloading their plate.
Dern said the biggest etiquette mistake she saw UCF students make were proceeding into the meal without waiting for a signal from the host.
The host signals the beginning of everything, said Dern. You absolutely have to wait on the host.
Dern has provided etiquette instruction to several groups at UCF, including the Presidents Leadership Council, a select group of students who act as ambassadors for UCF. This was Derns first appearance at CELs Etiquette Dinner.
Dern has made a career out of teaching etiquette skills to children, teenagers and adults in personal and corporate settings.
Dern says that etiquette skills have declined among the last few generations, which is why there is a need for etiquette training.
Civility is back in style, Dern said. People are wanting to know the rules [of etiquette] because of the lack of it in society.
Students who attended the event all learned etiquette skills that they were unfamiliar with before attending the event. Some students confessed that they were not sure if they would follow the rules of etiquette Dern
I didnt know there were two different styles of eating, said freshmen Jade Grandy. I prefer American Style, I dont care how long it takes me to eat. I prefer to eat with my right hand.
Senior Irene Pons said, I learned not to take off my shoes. I always do it at weddings and bar mitzvahs. But unless my feet stink, I dont think Ill stop.
The evening closed with a performance by ballroom dance professionals Michael Dean and Patty Holden. They demonstrated tango, salsa and samba dances to contemporary music by Gloria Estefan, Mariah Carey and Toni Braxton.
CEL coordinator Gerald Jones was pleased with the student turnout and outcome of the dinner.
I thought this years dinner was well-attended, a good use of money and from the evaluations we received, everyone was pleased with the platform of the event, said Jones.
CEL member Hope Wehrle said, I was excited it went over so well because we ran into a lot of problems in the beginning. It ended up being one of the best etiquette dinners yet.