The first block all incoming students are required to take is a course called Cornerstone. The purpose of Cornerstone is twofold: to get students adjusted to both university level work and the block plan, and to develop a tight bond as a class through doing a variety of group building activities. As a fourth year, I still look back very fondly on my Cornerstone experience.
One of the super fun group building activities that takes place during Cornerstone are Cornerstone Dinners. These dinners are hosted by Quest’s Dean of Students, Melanie Koenderman, in her home. Melanie invites each Cornerstone class and one upperclassman group of condo-mates over for an iron chef inspired dinner. Each upperclassman is randomly put into a group of about 4-5 first years and as a group they are instructed to prepare a dish. Two weeks ago, my room (which includes myself and six of my good third and fourth year friends,) had the pleasure of meeting an awesome bunch of new Questies. My group got especially lucky and got to make Melanie’s legendary raw chocolate torte! (Note: no picture available, as it was gobbled up too fast!)
In sum, Cornerstone Dinners serve as an awesome way to integrate the older students with the incoming class. Since a big part of the Quest education involves collaboration and interdisciplinary work between all years of students, it is very valuable to get the opportunity to meet our new classmates. And what better way to get to know people than over a delicious dinner!