Students celebrate unconventional Thanksgiving

By Lindsey Smith

The day before Thanksgiving saw a mass exodus of students from campus. Some had long plane rides to places as far as San Francisco and New Haven, while others were only minutes away from home. As the dorms began to empty, however, a small population of students remained, by a combination of choice and necessity, to celebrate the holiday at Macalester. Students stayed at school for a variety of reasons. David Goldstein ’16 chose not to travel home to Boston because the trip was too long for the brief four-day break. He left Thursday afternoon to celebrate off-campus with family in the area. “I have lots of family around here,” Goldstein said. “It was better than going all the way home.” Rachel Meek ’16 stayed for Thanksgiving instead of taking the nine-hour flight home to Hawaii. She noted that campus was uncharacteristically quiet but not lacking in festivity. “I wasn’t even thinking of it as Thanksgiving until I saw all the Thanksgiving food,” Meek said. Like many other students, Meek gathered at Café Mac for a Thanksgiving brunch last Thursday. The cafeteria, which was open for an hour and a half in the early afternoon on Thanksgiving Day, served traditional holiday food such as turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes. Café Mac was closed for Thanksgiving dinner but open the rest of the break on a modified weekend schedule with fewer hours. Other facilities had similarly limited hours. The Leonard Center was closed Thursday and Friday, as was the Grille. The library’s hours were also shortened. Keith Edwards, Director of Campus Life, explained in an email that with so few students on campus over the holiday many extraneous operations were closed down. “Some students do go home,” he wrote. “We also know that many students who live further away go home with friends.” Safety for the students who chose to stay at Macalester was still a major priority. “The same regular safety procedures are in place as the rest of the year,” Edwards wrote. With safety procedures keeping security in place and RAs on call, students were left to fend for themselves in finding a Thanksgiving dinner. A group of students gathered in Turck Hall to pull together a Thanksgiving potluck. On Thanksgiving evening, three of the lounge kitchens were full of students hard at work. The menu included an eclectic mix of dishes such as yams, pizza, hot dog buns made into garlic bread, stuffing, and macaroni and cheese. The group also managed to prepare and roast a turkey in a lounge oven. The two students behind the planning of the meal, Marshall Simone ’16 and Fabian Arrizon ’16, started cooking at 10:30 that morning. “We thought we should have a Thanksgiving celebration because there are a lot of us here who couldn’t go home,” Simone said. “It was also an opportunity to build our college community.” About 30 students brought their contributions for the makeshift feast to the second floor lounge of Turck. The mood was festive, and the group included several international students who were celebrating Thanksgiving for the first time. It was also David Husson’s ’14 first Thanksgiving at Macalester. He usually travels home for the holiday but commented that staying at school was not a bad option. “Even if you’re not where you’d usually be, there’s still fun things to do,” he said. Husson attended Pie and Chai, an event sponsored by Residential Life that invited students to the Weyerhaeuser Boardroom to eat pie and drink tea on Thanksgiving night. It was a popular event that many students braved the snow to attend. Over pie, they discussed the ups and downs of staying on campus over the break. “Thanksgiving is what you make of it,” said Katherine Meier ’16. refresh –>