It’s very simple: some administrator (or, more likely, a computer), randomly splits the current students into groups of 7 each month, and each group has an informal potluck dinner. That’s it. It’s a simple way to ensure you meet more of your classmates in a relaxed, casual, outside-the-classroom environment.
In retrospect it’s an obvious idea and I should have organized something like this while I was at SDM. My monthly dinner ideas was close, but it was too big. By splitting the students into small autonomous groups, the responsibility shifts from one person to the whole group for organizing.
We hosted the first such dinner of the semester at our place last night, and it was a lot of fun. With participants from Guatemala, India, Pakistan, Israel, the US, and Austria, the conversation was lively. We also had a ton of authentic regional food.
I wonder if maybe it’s not too late to conver the SDM dinner idea into this format. All I’d need is a database of current students and area alumni. The program to split into random groups of 7 and send email reminders is trivial. Some of the new-age event organizing web sites must have an API, too.