Students On Campus for Thanksgiving Look Forward to Turkey and Movies

Thanksgiving Dinner on Campus
Students eat a HUDS-prepared Thanksgiving style dinner in 2016.

Though many Harvard students will head home for Thanksgiving break, some plan to stay on campus to relax, catch up on work, and feast on the holiday dinner that Harvard University Dining Services will prepare Thursday evening.

A number of students who chose to stay on campus for Thanksgiving said their hometowns are too far from Cambridge to consider flying home.

“It’s the distance,” said Nathan D. Lee ’21, who said he hails from Hawaii. “A 10 hour flight.”

Lee said he will use Thanksgiving break to spend time with friends who live and go to school in the area. He said he is excited despite being unable to return to Hawaii.

“It’ll be a fun time,” he said.

Samyra C. Miller ’21, who said she is from New Orleans, La., said she will use the break to rest.

“It also might be good to see the campus more intimately without people around and just get to spend time with myself, too,” she said.

For those staying on campus, HUDS will provide Thanksgiving dinner. Dining employees in Adams House will cook the meal, serving turkey and mashed potatoes throughout the afternoon and evening. Crista Martin, the HUDS Director for Strategic Initiatives & Communications, said she is looking forward to the event.

“It’s a fun and busy day, very festive and very relaxed. People are just happy to be there and enjoy the whole scene,” Martin said.

Some students said they can hardly wait for HUDS Thanksgiving dinner.

“I will be the first one at the door. I will bring my own utensils,” Miller said. “I will bring to-go plates. I will pack a to-go plate before I bring my own plate. I’m stocking up.”

For students from even farther afield than Hawaii and New Orleans, the Woodbridge International Society will host events throughout the weekend. The society will designate a table for international students and their friends during Thanksgiving dinner in Adams House and will host a movie outing for these students the day after Thanksgiving.

Esme D. Trahair ’19, who hails from London, England, said she believes this programming helps international students feel at home during the holiday break.

“Thanksgiving is a weird time for international students generally, just because it’s a new holiday that a lot of us don’t really have an equivalent for in our respective countries and then a lot of us don’t end up going home,” she said.

Trahair added she hopes that events planned for the weekend will help international students see that it can be “fun” to be on campus over Thanksgiving break.

Additionally, several international students are coordinating a dinner featuring different cultural foods, slated to take place Saturday night. According to Aditi Chitkara ’21, from Shimla, India, the Woodbridge International Society will be providing groceries for students to prepare and share traditional meals from their respective countries.

Some international students, however, said they are looking forward to just relaxing.

“I really like having the break in the middle of the semester,” said Laura D. Zharmukhametova ’21, who said she hails from Kazakhstan. “It’s nice to have some rest.”

All dining halls except for Adams will close on Tuesday or Wednesday and will stagger reopenings throughout the weekend.

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