During Thanksgiving many students go home to be with their families and take a break from school. Unfortunately some live too far away or do not have the means to get there.
For those students who were unable to travel home for the holiday this year, the office of housing and residential life held a Thanksgiving dinner in the Vista La Verne main lounge.
“It is hard to be away from family at this time,” resident director Sonora Hernandez said. “We try to make them feel at home in some kind of way, so they don’t feel alone.”
Dinner was served to seven residents, three resident assistants, Hernandez and fellow resident director Angelia Northam.
The dinner was purchased from Boston Market and included all of the Thanksgiving favorites such as turkey, ham, stuffing, pie, rolls and more.
During the dinner everyone went around the table sharing what they were thankful for this holiday season, talking about their traditions and some of their favorite moments from their family gatherings.
“It was nice to have dinner with residents I would not normally speak to,” said Selyna Ybarra, junior business administration major and Vista La Verne resident assistant. “It was interesting to hear different stories and traditions.”
Ybarra attended the dinner, because she was on duty as an RA so she had to stay in the dorm for the night.
“At first the night was somber, each person was thinking of being home,” Ybarra said.
As the night progressed spirits were lifted by Christmas music and a visit from President Devorah Lieberman and her husband, Ybarra said. Lieberman came and mingled with the group after she had finished dinner elsewhere, and held a toast of apple cider.
Ybarra also mentioned that the dinner is important because not only is it a way to connect with each other during the holidays, but Davenport is closed, leaving residents with no food options.
Sophomore psychology major Jedaun Carter, from Carson, said she was not able to go home for Thanksgiving so she attended the dinner.
“Everyone was nice and cheerful,” Carter said. “We did a lot of laughing.”
She also liked the food and appreciated that they served vegetarian options such as spinach-artichoke dip and meatless stuffing.
Carter said it was hard at first for her not to be around her family, but once she started talking to other people at the dinner she began to adjust.
“It felt good to be around a second family, even if you couldn’t be with your primary one,” Carter said.
Brooke Grasso can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.