Jourdan Duncan – Staff Writer –
With his cartoon-like smile and soft-spoken voice, senior secondary education major Jay Henderson talked about his own steps towards student involvement that lead him to the position of president for Residence Hall Association.
“In RHA, we have lunch every meeting at 1 p.m. on Wednesdays in the Farnham Programming Space,” Henderson said. “But, our biggest meals are right before Thanksgiving. It is really big because we actually put a lot of money into having a carved turkey, stuffing, and corn bread. It is a catered meal from RHA for everyone who comes and it is open to all residential students.”
The Southern population makes up a large array of students: in-state, out-of-state, international. Students must be out of their residence halls by 5 p.m. on the Tuesday of Thanksgiving week unless there is a legitimate reason that requires them to stay during that time.
“Living in North campus where the population of international students is really high, I don’t know if all of them really know what Thanksgiving is or have had the opportunity to experience it,” Henderson said. “A lot of them do stay in the building over break because they are from overseas. So, it would be nice to have some type of dinner for them or explain what is going on.”
Freshman math major Alex Audetanticipates the moment his family will finally see the many hairs upon his chin.
“For Thanksgiving I am planning a no shave November, so I am a little worried about going home and seeing my family,” Audet said. “I’m really excited to see their reactions, but I hope they don’t take me as a little bit weirder with a beard.”
Audet said he has become very involved so far in his first semester as a freshman on campus by joining multiple clubs and organizations such as Math club, Student Government, and Habitat for Humanity. As a student activist, he said there hasn’t been much publicity for Thanksgiving themed events or activities on campus.
“Helping out in the community could be something for Habitat for Humanity or Service team and a lot of those teams can do that effectively or any other groups like ProCon or RHA could hold Thanksgiving events for all of us, but I haven’t heard anything. I’ve heard about Thanksgiving bake sales and Adopt-A-Family, but that’s it.”
Senior public health major and Student Government representative Jermaine Williams brings his traditional Jamaican dishes to the table with a smirk and a grumbling stomach.
“Traditionally I go home and it is like a regular day,” Williams said. “I wasn’t born here so it was never a big deal. When I go home my mom usually cooks curry chicken, stew chicken, and sometimes ox tail.”
Williams said there are donation boxes in each residence hall every year and this year there is a competition in Hickerson Hall where the floor that fills their box the most gets to have a pizza party.
“I think it’s hard because everyone has their own family to go home to around Thanksgiving, so there is no one else here to put on something. Before we leave, Conn Hall does their best to try to put out turkey and ham and they cut it right in front of you. They decorate the place with Thanksgiving things and usually have a calendar that tells you when they are doing things like that and each day they usually change what they have.”