Every Monday, student volunteers gather on campus and hand out free coffee and hot chocolate for Warm Up Monday (WUM). The free beverages are available for any individual who waits in line; no requirements are necessary to receive a drink.
WUM was launched in Spring 2011 by former student Lana Lake who wanted to increase positive interactions among students on campus. Her vision was made possible by University Food Services, which donates all the beverages free of charge. Now that Lake has graduated, junior cell biology and neuroscience student Chad Keizer is in charge of the WUM operation.
Keizer organizes around 12 – 15 fellow students to volunteer at the table each Monday from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. on the Centennial Mall. He even volunteers himself at times: “My freshman year I tried to serve on a weekly basis, and that’s still a big part of what I do. It’s certainly my favorite part,” he said.
According to Keizer, students who rely on WUM for their regular Monday morning drinks are always extremely thankful to volunteers. However, he said that students who do not wish to accept a drink are equally kind. “Even when we offer a free beverage and we get turned down, students always do so in the most polite way possible. All of this is what makes the whole event so fun,” he said.
During the warmer months, WUM also provides lemonade to students for a more refreshing choice. This leaves students with the option of coffee, hot chocolate and lemonade, or all three. Keizer and his team call this “the triple.”
For WUM, their end-goal may seem strange. Most tables with free items are usually paired with some kind of caveat; however, Keizer wants to make clear that it is not the case. His mission statement for WUM is, “to serve the campus in a simple, tangible way, not out of the motive to advertise for any organization … just to be a bright spot on campus on Monday mornings, giving out free drinks and having a blast while doing so.”
Keizer invites all students to stop by and grab a drink, or just say hello any Monday morning. Students will quickly realize which table it is, with lots of coffee, hot chocolate and smiling faces.