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Alternative activities for Thanksgiving day


One of the centerpiece meals served at a typical American Thanksgiving feast is a large roasted turkey. Courtesy Juli Leonard / Raleigh News & Observer

With Christmas just around the corner, Thanksgiving is here to remind us of the importance of the family. The University of Arizona has a strong gathering community that invites students to be part of activities.

In an attempt to reunite students and make them feel at home, UA departments, councils and associations have organized various events this Thanksgiving season.

Home Away From Home Potluck

With the idea of building a community, the UA African American Students Affairs, or AASA, organized an event on Nov. 22 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Building Room 100 where all UA students were invited to share a meal. 

Home Away From Home Potluck provided home-cooked Thanksgiving meals, a dinner before the students start traveling for the holiday. During the potluck, students who are not able to go home during the holiday were assigned to community members’ houses to experience a traditional American Thanksgiving Day in a family house. 

Beah Williams, who coordinated the event for AASA, said that the idea for this event was to create a community for students, especially for those who are far from home.

“The most exciting thing [about] putting together this event was the amount of individuals throughout the Black community that wanted to participate and [were] willing to open their homes to OUR students during the holiday break,” Williams said in email.

RELATED: Opinion: Wednesday before Thanksgiving should be canceled

GratiTuesday with Student-Athletes

On Nov. 26, C.A.T.S Academics is promoting an activity for students to share about what they are grateful for. The UA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, or SAAC, had created this initiative years ago.

SAAC is a group of student-athletes from different sports that meets once a month to discuss a variety of topics. SAAC is going to set up posters and poster notes in Mckale Center, which is one of the busiest areas in the university, according to Sofia Read, C.A.T.S. Life Skills’ assistant director.

On the posters, students can write thank you messages for those who work on campus or just a reflection of what they are grateful for. 

“Quick pieces of engagements, they [students-athletes] can just write what or who they are thankful for,” Read said.

For Read, Thanksgiving is a special holiday where her and her family spend time together. 

“Thanksgiving always reminds me of just being able to spend time with friends and family and relax a little bit and be able to think about how grateful I am for the people in my life,” Read said. 

RELATED: OPINION: Thanksgiving needs a new history

Free Thanksgiving dinner with CatCard

On Nov. 27 from 5 to 8 p.m., the UA Graduate and Professional Student Council will be hosting a free event open to all graduate and professional students. The event will take place at the Student Union Memorial Center’s Grand Ballroom where they will cater Thanksgiving meals. Additionally, after dinner, GPSC will provide a movie screening and board games to play.

GPSC is partnering with the UA International Student Service Office to organize the Thanksgiving dinner.

“International students will have the opportunity [to] experience thanksgiving and overeating,” said Meck Slagle, the events director for the GPSC.

Slagle mentioned that there are a lot of students who don’t have the funds or the time to go home and visit for Thanksgiving. 

“There is usually a sense of feeling … maybe loneliness and depression,” Slagle said.

With the idea of forming a community, this event will provide a space to hear from students around campus, where they come from and their experience.

“Socials are one of the easiest ways to get to meet new people,” GPSC President Marie Teemant said.

Besides gathering students, Slagle mentioned that these kinds of events are very important to have on campus because the university is addressing that mental health is a big issue. 

“Students need support in many ways, and this is one way that the university can support students,” Slagle said.

Thanksgiving Feast To-Go

Most students do not have the time and money to prepare a whole Thanksgiving menu. Making a good, juicy and fresh turkey can be hard if you live in the dorms. 

The Student Union is instead offering Thanksgiving Feast To-Go, a four-course dinner costing $78 plus taxes. The Thanksgiving feast provides enough food for eight people.

All reservation orders will be received on Tuesday, Nov. 26, at 1 p.m., and students can pick their orders up the next day, Nov. 27, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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