The Kansas State chapter of Spoon University, which started as just a thought last spring, has grown to be a larger branch that publishes about everything and anything related to food, said Taylor Egan, junior in hospitality management and marketing director for K-State’s chapter.
Egan said she was first inspired to create a K-State chapter of Spoon University in the spring of 2016 after she saw the national organization, which is based in New York City, featured on a list of the top 10 Instagram accounts to follow.
Spoon University headquarters reached out to K-State’s greek community, asking if anyone was interested in starting a chapter at K-State, Egan said. As a former member of greek life, Egan said she eagerly replied to get the ball rolling on the chapter because she loves food.
Egan said founding the chapter was a challenge because it was not yet a common chapter at universities across the nation. In order to make the chapter happen, she had to get 350 students to sign a petition and engage interest to see if the chapter would be successful.
The chapter started with Egan but quickly grew to four leaders. Since the beginning of last year, she said their team has increased to 17 members. Growth has happened in other ways as well, such as promoting themselves on social media and asking teachers to tell their classes about them.
“We want everyone to know who we are,” she said. “It is one of our big goals (that) we want everyone to know what Spoon University is.”
Because the chapter is still relatively new to campus, its main goal is to raise funds so they can do fun things for their members, Egan said.
Creating a platform
Within the chapter, students take on various roles in producing online content, which includes writing, social media, marketing and photography.
Topanga McBride, junior in agricultural communications and journalism and editorial director, oversees the content production for Spoon University. She approves local pitches, edits and publishes articles, and communicates between Spoon University headquarters and the K-State chapter.
McBride described Spoon University as a mix between “Food Network” and BuzzFeed.
“We are a resource for college students about all things related to food,” McBride said. “We do so through an online publication specific to K-State hosted on the national Spoon University website.”
McBride said her favorite thing about the chapter is everyone experiences food differently. She said food is important, and the chapter allows them to express their ideas and emotions.
If food is a passion, then joining Spoon University is easy, McBride said. Previous experience is not needed to join, giving students an opportunity to build that experience.
“It’s all about food, and college students getting to know Manhattan and the area that they are in that is not home for maybe some people,” Egan said.
Egan said she is excited about the newest addition to Spoon University called Spoon Healthier, which includes topics such as eating disorders, how to exercise while in college, mental illness and how to stay sane in college.
“It’s not just all about food now, it is more of the healthier, taking-care-of-yourself portion,” Egan said.