The breaking of bread together is the
most universal human experience of community and one of the oldest traditions
of the Christian church. Every Sunday evening there is a community dinner
intended especially for members of the College. This special meal stands at the
heart of our residential college life, and it is served family or community
style, in order to help students, staff, and faculty to develop and to
experience a deeper sense of community and mutual interdependence. Residents of
the college, regardless of classification, are required to have a meal plan to
facilitate this communal aspect of the collegiate experience. Learn more about
the Great Hall.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is our first Sunday dinner of the semester?
Our first Sunday dinner of every semester takes place the day before classes begin.
What time does dinner begin, and where is it held?
Dinner begins promptly at 6:00 p.m. in the Great Hall. Thus, you need to arrive at the entry to the Great Hall by 5:45 p.m. in order to have your card scanned for entry into the hall. Please note: you must have your id card available in order to gain entry for dinner.
What happens if I am late?
If you arrive after 6:00 p.m. you will have to make arrangements elsewhere for dinner. Once everyone in line has entered the hall, the entry doors will closed for further admittance. For this reason, please allow ample time to arrive at the hall before the beginning of dinner.
What is appropriate dress for the dinners?
For gentlemen, chinos, khakis, or slacks with collared “polos” or button-down shirts are appropriate. Coats and ties are always welcome, though not required. For ladies, attire of comparable quality to the gentlemen is recommended: pants or skirts with blouses or nice dresses are appropriate. For both ladies and gentlemen jeans are discouraged, and shorts, t-shirts, and tennis shoes are rather out of place.
Appropriate dress enables us to honor one another, the distinguished guests who join us each week, and the ideals of Brooks College. It is a tangible indication of our self-respect and of our mutual respect. Please exercise thoughtfulness in light of these principles in preparing for dinner.
What do I do when I enter the Great Hall for Sunday dinner?
You may find a place at any of the tables set for service (except, of course, at the high table which is reserved for the faculty master and specially invited guests). It is helpful to enter the hall and advance to an open table as near to the front as possible in order to facilitate everyone’s entry. Please remain standing behind your seat until everyone has entered and the blessing for the meal has been offered.
When do I sit down and eat?
After everyone has entered the hall and found a place, the faculty master will offer grace before the meal. Thereafter, everyone will be seated and dinner served.
Why is the food not yet at the table and from where will it come?
In recognition of our mutual interdependence, our Sunday dinners are served family-style. Our gracious dining services colleagues in the kitchen prepare the food, but it is our privilege to serve it to one another.
At each Sunday dinner, four service bowls or platters are provided for each table. After grace has been said, four persons from each table should walk to the kitchen, retrieve one of the service bowls/platters, and carefully return to the table. Those seated together may then serve each other the entrée, vegetables, and bread provided for the table. In order to avoid having four bowls/platters of the same item, each table’s volunteers are encouraged to consult with one another about who shall retrieve which portion of the dinner.
Thoughtfully anticipating the needs of others is always in order. Help each other in all the ways proper to our shared thanksgiving for the blessings we enjoy as college members.
Are provisions made for vegetarian meals?
Yes. A vegetarian alternative is available for each Sunday evening dinner. Please make an inquiry about this option at the front desk during the week before dinner or else in the kitchen at the time of dinner. Advance requests are helpful for our dining staff.
Does anything happen after dinner?
When the college’s guests at high table have finished it is ordinary for members of the college to join them for conversation together in the JCR or, when weather permits, in the main quad.
Who is seated at the high table and should I make a point of talking to them?
Each week, the faculty master invites guests to join us for Sunday dinner. A list of guests is printed on the card at your table. Brooks College extends hospitality to others in recognition of our need to engage a larger culture, to learn from it, and to contribute to it. You are highly encouraged to introduce yourself to our guests and to offer them your personal hospitality. They undoubtedly will have distinguished themselves in ways that merit close attention and careful listening, as prompted by your well-thought comments and questions.
How do I reserve a seat at the dinners?
No reservations for dinner are required. You are expected, as a member of Brooks College, to attend all of the Sunday evening community dinners, so a seat is already set aside for you.
Can I bring a parent, friend, or guest with me to dinner?
Yes! Guests are always welcome at our Sunday college dinners and you are encouraged to invite them. However, our dining services colleagues prepare meals carefully based upon how many they expect to be present, so lest we run short of food you should make prior arrangements for your guests at the front desk.
How do guests make payment for their meals?
Payment must be made at the station(s) in the entryway to the Great Hall. Any Baylor student with a meal plan or Bearbucks (including guests) may have their ID card swiped to pay for Sunday dinner in the Great Hall. Cash payments or credit card charges (Visa or Mastercard) may be made as well. You are advised beforehand to consider with your guest(s) the matter of payment so that you do not experience any unanticipated awkwardness at the door.