From the Spoon HQ offices to chapter meetings, here's what's up in the Spooniverse.

How My College Experience As a Queer Foodie Was Shaped by Starting a Spoon University Chapter

Because Spoon is all about those unicorns and rainbows—even if they are cookies.

The moment I saw Spoon's promo flier on my campus, I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of. At the time, I was looking for the chance to get into marketing and it seemed like I'd found an opportunity. The flier showed three donuts on a simple white background—and they were the food-porniest donuts I had ever seen.

I quickly snapped a picture of the flier to get the application link so I could find out more details about Spoon later. Soon after, I founded a Spoon chapter at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Things seemed bright at the time, and I knew that Spoon could be a safe place for me to explore my talents and skills. I was driven by the idea of bringing this amazingly creative community to my campus. But with time, things changed, and I started asking myself all the deep questions. 

It was time for me to recruit for my chapter and I realized I had to think about the Spoon community I wanted to build. I wanted every member of my chapter to feel safe and comfortable, and I'm not just talking about the chapter meetings. It goes way beyond that.

I wondered: Do my kicka** team members feel like the Spooniverse is representing their unique voices? For me, that was particularly relevant for the LGBTQ+ community on my campus. Then I asked the most important questions to the person I know the best, aka myself: Do I, as a gay man, feel secure in the Spoon community? Do I feel like Spoon represents me as a queer foodie? Here's what I came up with:

Spoon Lets You Be Yourself

In fact, Spoon ABSOLUTELY WANTS you to be yourself! It might sound cheesy (you know you love it that way) but it's true. You are free to create whatever you like: do you want to write about your recent Starbucks experience? Go for it. Are you genuinely disappointed in a new trendy beverage? Tell others about it. Spoon wants you to share your personal story, to hear your voice and to show off your true colors—whether it comes from an awesome article, amazing video or the dopest photo of pizza. 

Spoon Helps You Explore Your Passions

College environments can be stressful at times. There is always pressure from the school authorities, peers and professors. It constantly feels like college has to be the time when we explore all those passions of ours that we aren't even so sure about yet.

Spoon addresses these issues from a few different perspectives. First, it lets you dive deeper into the world of food and wellness. Working for a college food publication brings numerous food discoveries. Before Spoon, I had no idea what yuca was, or what it meant to compost. Exploring this passion for food is a never-ending path of pleasant food discoveries.

Secondly, Spoon helps you explore your passion in the technical way. Here you get to experiment with the content creating, photography, AND marketing. It offers all necessary skills to dive into each of these categories. Honestly, there is no limit for your symbiotic foo-technical explorations (see, who says I can't make up new words!).

Spoon Lets You Make a Difference

Spoon want us all to succeed. Not only do we have Secret Sauce to help us set goals, we also have the amazing support of HQ, who are working day and night (literally!) to assist us with all the questions we needs the answers for. The support I am getting makes me want to contribute towards achieving Spoons mission—being the resource for our multicultural generation in regards to food and wellness. Standing for the equality, starting with my school community, is a change I want to be a part of.

Spoon Doesn't Discriminate

This was a real discovery for me. While there are numerous organizations and clubs out there, there is always a fear of feeling like you will be a misfit. As a new member of a club, acceptance ranks to be the highest in determining if you'll actually stick around, according to the NYTimes.

If I do not feel accepted for who I am, I won't be interested in participating in the group activities. I strongly believe that Spoon offers all the resources to encourage that acceptance and the psychological safety all across the 280+ campuses worldwide.

Secret Sauce skills also offer a variety of suggestions on how to keep the chapter strong and health by organizing an all-inclusive chapter and campus-wise events.

Additionally, there are a lot of articles on the Spoon University community blog where members share their tips and suggestions on how to build an open-minded, inclusive, progressive and overall awesome local chapter community. Isn't that phenomenal?

Spoon Connects You With People Just Like You

One of the best perks of being part of the Spoon community is the opportunity to connect with people who are just like you. I have the freedom to connect with other LGBTQ+ Spoon members from all over the world, who can relate to the experience I have in my daily life.

Slack, the messaging app, also offers me an opportunity to have a private LGBTQ+ channel where we can all connect and express our voice in a language that can be understood by the whole Spoon community.

Spoon is basically an online family that wants you to be the best you can be. So go and explore the unknown foodie world—the world where you can eat rainbow bagels, make unicorn cookies, eat pizza and be proud of yourself. We can't wait to hear all about your journey.