Faculty (CUL) Meals with Students Program

(formally CUL meals)

In order to encourage faculty members to meet with students outside of the classroom, the former Committee on Undergraduate Life (CUL) developed this meal program which allows for faculty members to share meals with students in the dining halls free of charge.

*Fall 21 update: This meal plan is now available in the dining halls but not the Williams Dining retail spaces (i.e. the ’82 Grill; Fresh-n-Go; Lee Snack Bar & Eco Cafe).

*When dining with students using this program, faculty and staff members will be allowed access to the dining halls. Otherwise, the use of the dining halls remains limited to only students. 

*Please also remember that due to public health guidelines, students are not currently permitted to eat inside academic buildings. Currently, faculty members may eat with students in our dining venues, outside, or off-campus venues.

Once again, this program is exclusively for the purpose of encouraging occasional out-of-classroom interactions between faculty members and students. It may not be used to provide free meals for individuals, unit meetings, or for other groups of faculty members.

The level of food expenses covered typically varies based on the location of the meal. Currently, the only locations available at this time are the dining halls:

Driscoll, Mission, & Whitmans’

  • In these dining halls, the faculty member should be accompanied by the student(s), or be meeting students in the dining area.
  • Students must use their own meal plan if possible (if a student does not have a meal plan, their meal may be charged to the Faculty Advisor Meals program).
  • Be sure to bring your Williams College ID with you to charge the Faculty/Student Meals Program, as you will simply swipe your ID card to pay for your meal with the student(s). Using this program is a no-cash transaction, and reimbursements are not possible.
  • The success of these programs relies on the integrity of individuals within the campus community to respect each program’s intent and to use them accordingly.

Additional funding opportunities to support student interactions with faculty and staff members:

Faculty/Student Entertainment Funds. This funding is administered through The Office of the Dean of the College and the program provides faculty members with discretionary funds to entertain students. Funds may be used to eat with students in any setting on or off-campus, but may not be used to purchase alcohol. Currently, Full-time faculty are eligible for up to $125 per semester. Those with half-time appointments are eligible for up to $65 per semester. Those wishing to use the funds must send a brief description of the proposed plans to Sue Gaskell ([email protected]) in the Dean of the College’s office BEFORE the event(s). Please contact her with further questions.

Unit Budgets. Each Unit may devote a small budget to provide funds for faculty members wishing to entertain students. The unit Chair controls the disbursement of these funds.

Student-Staff Dining Program (this is the staff version of the Faculty Program). In this case, the charges are sent back to the unit, so approval lies in the hands of the unit budget manager, usually the faculty member Chair. Again, this is not typically allowed for ongoing lunches for groups, etc.

Committee on Student Life. The budget for the Committee on Student Life is a part of the VP Campus Life budget submission and can be used to support campus programs at the discretion of the Chair and the Committee.