Almost 400 WSU and UI Students Expected to Immediately Reserve All Places at Second “Be a Star!” Etiquette Dinner, Oct. 2

PULLMAN, Wash. — Last spring, the first “Be a Star!” Etiquette Dinner for Washington State University and University of Idaho students was sold out within a week of its announcement.

This fall, the event, part of the WSU and UI Fall Career Expo, has doubled in size. Although the dinner will now seat almost 400 students and guests, event organizers expect this year’s event to immediately sell out too.

Held from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Oct. 2 in WSU’s Compton Union Building’s Carey Ballroom, the dinner, led again by Seattle business consultant Randi Freidig, helps students learn principles of business protocol and dining etiquette. Such principles are important. Some firms take people they are interviewing out for lunch or dinner. If they do not know how to eat properly or demonstrate other faux pas, they may not be hired.

The etiquette dinner includes a “mocktail” hour in the CUB Lair. During it, students will learn principles of what Freidig calls “the magic of mingling” — how to network and the art of small talk.

“When I ask people what annoys them about small talk, most say they think small talk is unimportant, inconsequential and a waste of time,” said Freidig. She says the complete opposite is true. “Small talk builds rapport, uncovers helpful contacts and information, and puts others at ease.” Learning how to work a roomful of strangers while gracefully juggling a plateful of hors d’oeurvres and a beverage is “practical training for the real world,” Freidig said.

The dinner will be an “elegant meal prepared by the CUB’s catering staff,” said Dave Haining, of WSU Career Services. “It was selected to pose etiquette problems. For example, how do you cope with a cherry tomato full of liquid and, in addition, peas scattering across a plate? How do you determine which salad plate is yours? What do you do with a full set of silverware? How can you gracefully recover if you spill water in another’s lap? And, what’s the difference between the continental and the American “cross over” styles of eating?” he said.

Thanks to a donation from Aramark Corp. and table sponsorship by Expo employers, students will pay only $10 for their dinners. To make a reservation, WSU and UI students must register for themselves only at WSU Career Services in Lighty Student Services Building, Room 160 or by calling 509/335-9107. In addition, on a space-available basis, a limited number of WSU and UI staff and faculty may attend for $32 each. Payment will be accepted only by check, Visa or MasterCard.

For additional information on the dinner and other Fall Career Expo of the Palouse activities, visit the WSU Career Services Web site at