Thanksgiving break is, for most students, a time to return home, relax and visit with family. For some, though, extenuating circumstances prevent them from leaving campus over short breaks such as Thanksgiving. In some cases, the student lives too far away for travel to be feasible. In others, they may have jobs or sports that keep them on campus.
The students who stay on campus for breaks are not able to access other residence halls other than their own, and dining services is at least partially closed, making the breaks isolating and often boring.
This year, to alleviate some of this boredom and loneliness, the Mosaic House sponsored their first family Thanksgiving dinner.
The idea was thought up between interim coordinator of diversity programming and residential communities Stephanie Collins and two of the students who work in the Mosaic House. The dinner took place Thanksgiving Day at the Mosaic House, and all students who were approved to stay on campus were invited.
“We started thinking, we’ve done family dinners before, so what if we did a family dinner for the students on campus?” Collins said regarding the process behind planning this event.
According to Collins, only five students attended, but it was a relaxed and fun event that will likely become a tradition for years to come.
“It wasn’t a traditional Thanksgiving, but it was still a meal with friends in a good atmosphere and I think that’s what was important,” Collins said.
One student assistant, first-year Pleasant Sprinkle-Williams worked with Collins to make the food for the meal. Collins reached out to students attending in advance and asked about any dietary restrictions that they may have had. At least one student was vegan, so they made two options for each part of the meal, including both vegan and non-vegan options.
Sprinkle-Williams discussed the fun she had in making the Thanksgiving food—especially the sweet potato biscuits.
“We saw who was all coming—I did vegan sweet potato biscuits—because [an attendee] is vegan, so a lot of our food was vegan, but also everyone else could eat it too because it tasted really good,” Sprinkle-Williams said.
As a student who did not go home over this break, Sprinkle-Williams was excited to have something else to do other than sit in her room alone. She appreciated the ability to make and eat a tasty home-cooked meal.
“It was either have ramen that night because the Marketplace was closed and the Jays Nest is closed—I was probably going to end up eating ramen and doing homework in my room,” Sprinkle-Williams said regarding the benefits of the dinner.