Mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, green beans and let’s not forget the all-important turkey. Many Americans find these served in their Thanksgiving meal, one of the many highlights of Thanksgiving Break.
It’s a fun time of the year for many students. We eat delicious food. We spend quality time with family and friends and of course, we get away from school.
However, not all of us are able to find our way home. While most of campus packs up all the things they need for a well-deserved break, a handful of students must make do with the facilities on campus and the surrounding area.
“It costs a lot of money to fly all the way to California and back,” freshman Sione Veikoso said. “Might as well stay here.”
This year will be the first Veikoso will be away from home for Thanksgiving.
“My family always gets together and helps the less fortunate,” he said.
For Veikoso, Thanksgiving means preparing meat and smaller dishes with family and bringing food out into the community.
This Thanksgiving is going to be considerably different.
“It’s going to be a lot of rehab coming out of football,” Veikoso said.
Luckily, Veikoso is not the only one remaining on campus. He already knows of at least three guys he will be spending his time with.
“We’ll work out together and go out to eat,” he said.
Not exactly the “turkey and stuffing” Thanksgiving we are accustomed to.
So how does a student stay on campus over Thanksgiving Break?
“The criteria are pretty stringent,” Josh Perkins, associate dean of student development, said. “You have to be involved with a Malone-related activity or [it must be] in the student’s best interest to stay on campus.”
Perkins said that student development recognizes there are cases when it is difficult for a student to get home. In cases of students who come from far away states like California, or even outside the country, it is just not practical to go home.
However, campus over the break is not the same campus most students are used to.
“Technically, campus is closed,” Perkins said. “We only have minimal staff because everyone is home with their families.”
With most of the staff away, campus rules become stricter. Over break, there are no visitation hours, not even in the same gender’s dorm. What’s more, there are no campus food facilities open.
“It wouldn’t make much sense to keep the cafeteria open for two people,” Perkins said.
Fortunately, these students have other avenues to explore. According to Perkins, it is not unusual for students, friends and individuals nearby to open their homes to those left behind so that they may at least have someone to be with for Thanksgiving.
Marcus Mayo is a contributing writer for Aviso AVW.