High Tea organizers still in need of student volunteers

By Matthew Fowler, A&E Editor

Don’t fret: There is still time to stop by your local thrift store to pick up a most-exquisite 19th century British-Victorian outfit and sign up to volunteer at St. John Henry Newman’s High Tea.

Organizers of Newman University’s annual High Tea event, which happens on Wednesday, still need students to fill many of the essential volunteer positions despite the event’s positive reception from students in previous years.

Sheryl Stanley, the lead organizer of this year’s High Tea, said there are many ways that students can volunteer.

“Students help with serving tea and tea foods, cleaning up dishes as the visitors leave, dishwashing or other tasks like playing background music for us,” Stanley said. “Also, students get volunteer credit for that and helping with transport of tubs, boxes and display items before and after the event.”

The SignUpGenius for student volunteers lists more than 60 positions, many of which are not filled. Each of the seven volunteer shifts available on bothTuesday andWednesday last one to two hours each.

Faculty and staff at Newman also have the opportunity to help. They primarily prepare the dishes that will be served at High Tea, cut and plate food and direct student volunteers.

“Faculty, staff and other volunteers bake, assemble or buy items we need and donate not just the items but their time and help get all the sandwiches and foods cut into tea-size servings,” Stanley said.

The dishes served at High Tea will include cucumber sandwiches with mint butter, strawberry trifle, crunchy-topped madeira cake and ginger loaf with apricot-ricotta spread.

Shirley Reub, who retired from almost 50 years of work at Newman in various positions including registrar and has helped with many previous High Teas, is volunteering as an assistant organizer for the event this year.

“We have a lot of fun putting it on,” she said.

Reub said that the event was started by a couple of members of Newman’s English department as a way to celebrate St. Newman’s English heritage. 

Students can attend High Tea free of charge from 2 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday in the Dugan-Gorges Conference Center.

Stanley said that she has returned to help coordinate High Tea because she loves the idea of a campus-wide volunteer event. She still coordinates the volunteers and brings tea-related items to decorate the tables. 

“I love meeting those that help and can attend,” she said. “I hope we will see you there.”

PHOTO: Courtesy photo, Unsplash