College Launches TYSO Program for Students, Staff
Issue   |   Wed, 12/05/2012 - 01:47

Amherst College’s new Take Your Staff Out (TYSO) program was initiated last week. Similar to the Take Your Professor Out (TYPO) program, TYSO will allow students to go out to a meal with any member of Amherst’s faculty, from coaches to administrators to custodians.

The idea for TYSO came out of the day of dialogue the College recently held, according to Interim Dean of Students and Coordinator of Academic Support Charri Boykin-East.

“Several of the students who participated in the small group discussions made up of faculty, staff, and students came forward and said it was amazing to connect with staff in that kind of way,” Boykin-East said. “They suggested that students should have more opportunities to connect with staff, and we thought that was a great idea.”

The idea quickly caught on with others.

“We thought it was important to have a fairly immediate response to the day of dialogue, and this was a simple and easy to initiate,” Dean of Faculty Gregory Call said. “We discussed it with Biddy, and everyone thought it was a good idea.”

Every student is allotted $14 for his or her meal, which includes a tip. Students must fill out the web form (which can be found under Campus Life on the Amherst website) at least two days in advance of their outing to be assured that it will go through. Amherst has made deals with several restaurants in town for TYSO. These include Panda East, Paste E Basta, Thai Corner, Fresh Side, Bueno Y Sano, Amherst Chinese, and The Pub. A student is currently allowed to go on one TYSO per semester, although this may be revised in upcoming years.

TYSO will be funded with money from the Dean of Faculty’s office.

“The Dean of Faculty has budgeted $5000 for the TYSO program,” Senior Administrative Assistant and Office Manager of the Dean of Students Office Alice Simmoneau said.

In the future, however, it could be co-funded by the Dean of Faculty Office and the AAS, similarly to the TYPO program is funded.

“I agreed to fund the program this year to get it off the ground quickly,” Dean Call said.

When TYPO was first funded 12 years ago by the former Dean of Faculty Frank Couvares, it was made as a program just for first year students. However, as interest in the program grew, TYPO was expanded to include TYPO-X, TYPO for upperclassmen. TYSO, however, will feature no such expansion.

“TYSO is for everyone,” Call said. “We think it is important to provide this opportunity to all students.”

Dean Boykin-East already had an opportunity to go on a TYSO, and said she had a wonderful experience.

“It was nice to be able to get to know some students, to learn about what they interested in, what their families are like,” Dean Boykin-East said.

Many expect the program will do well.

“I hope it is very successful, and I’m delighted that it got off the ground so quickly,” Call said.

Staff members hope that TYSO will help further enrich students experience at the College.

“College is a melting pot of diverse cultures, lineages and ideas and the staff at Amherst College has all of this and more to share with Amherst students,” Simmoneau said.