Dean of Students Brings Thanksgiving to Students on Campus

By Paula Garcia
BU News Service

Last Thursday, as many students were home preparing for Thanksgiving dinner, students unable to go home for the holiday lined up outside of Marciano Commons at 100 Bay State Road to attend a Thanksgiving lunch hosted by the Dean of Students Office and Marsh Chapel.

The event, which in past years had been hosted solely by Marsh Chapel, aimed to bring a sense of community and home to those students were either international or who could not afford to go home for the Thanksgiving break, according to Robert Flynn, the social media coordinator for BU Dining.

“This event is basically just a way for us to say, ‘Hey, BU community, we don’t want you to be alone,’” said Flynn.

While students waited in line to enter the event, representatives from the Dean of Students Office offered warmed tea and coffee. They also featured a trivia game activity that allowed students who attended to enter a raffle for a surprise prize.

According to Flynn, over 350 undergraduate students registered for the event through the EventBrite sign-up page. However, BU Dining prepared the event to serve around 700 students over the three-hour long event.

As students entered the dining hall, they were also given a free ticket to attend the BU Terriers Men’s basketball game on Saturday, November 30, 2013.

“This is great for the BU community that can’t get away, that is still on campus, to come together and do what you should for Thanksgiving,” said Flynn. “To be together with friends and family, and to enjoy a meal.”

Students waited in line to receive their traditional Thanksgiving meal of roasted turkey, whipped potatoes, carrots, cranberry chutney, and pumpkin pie. For those who were vegetarian or vegan, there was a vegan Pumpkin bisque and maple glazed tempeh.

“I think is really awesome that BU is doing this because a lot of students, especially international students, stay here,” said Christy Tungyan, a freshman in SMG. “It is very nice to let them know what Thanksgiving is, and just to let BU students enjoy a Thanksgiving meal.”

Tungyan invited her friend Jamie Kim, also a freshman in SMG, to come along with her to the Thanksgiving meal, even though Kim had not registered prior to the event. Most students sat around white-clothed tables with their friends, eating and talking as they enjoyed the meal. Some even expressed that the meal made them feel like they were home.

“It’s a really great idea,” said Justin Pallenik, a sophomore majoring in history and public relations. “I was pleasantly surprised.”

Dean Kenneth Elmore invited all undergraduate students remaining on campus or in vacation housing to register for the free Thanksgiving meal. Students were also notified of the event through the BU Housing notice about dormitory closings, and through BU Today.

However, not all students were happy about the event. Graduate students complained on the BU Today article that advertised the event. The main complaint was that in previous years, the Marsh Chapel meal had been open to everyone within the BU community, not just undergrads. In addition, some students who attended the event expressed their desire to make the Thanksgiving lunch into a dinner.

“It is great, but I hope that there will be a Thanksgiving dinner more than a lunch in future years,” said Enze Yan, a sophomore studying computer science in CAS.

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