Students call Allegheny home for break

College offers Thanksgiving meal, housing

Mi Huang, ’15, an international student from China, will not be going home for Thanksgiving. This holiday break, Huang plans to relax and hopes to catch up on schoolwork before finals. While Huang does not celebrate Thanksgiving, she said it is hard not to think about home when no one is on campus.

“I miss food and friends the most at home. It’s warmer in my hometown so I miss that as well,” Huang said.

For some Allegheny students, home is across the country and traveling there and back in the break allotted can be difficult.

Serena Downes, ’18, from New Hampshire, said that staying on campus made sense for her situation. In Downes’ case, the school’s landscape is an appealing enough reason to stay on campus for the break. She plans to stay close to campus most of the time and catch up on schoolwork but might venture home with one of her friends.

“I like the atmosphere of school and I have friends staying. I’m just a long way from home… I’ll miss [my family] a little bit though,” Downes said.
Downes also said that by the time she got off campus and flew 12 hours home it would be an all-day affair and would only leave a short amount of time to actually enjoy her break.

Jonathon Alcantara, ’18, would also like to go home but cannot.

“We can’t afford it,” said Alcantara. “I don’t know where I’m going for Thanksgiving break yet.”

Alcantara lives in California, more than 2,000 miles away, and said that flying all the way home just to turn around and come back in the next few days is not worth it.

“I’m going to miss [my family],” said Alcantara. “I’m going to miss seeing relatives that I wouldn’t normally see on a daily basis and having a home cooked meal.”

Student athletes are also among those who will be staying on Allegheny’s campus during the break.

Nathan Hall, ’18, an international student from England and a basketball player for the men’s team, will be on campus for the entire Thanksgiving break. He said that most of the team will be here the whole time because they have two games over break and will continue to practice regularly.

Hall said that over break he plans to catch up on sleep and relax by watching TV and going to the gym.

Hall misses his home and family, even though England does not celebrate the American Thanksgiving.

“We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in England so to us it’s nothing special. I do miss English food in general though,” Hall said.

In light of the amount of students staying on campus, Allegheny is holding some events and gatherings to make sure students have a meals and activities to keep them entertained, turning the Allegheny community into their surrogate family for the holiday season.

The Dean of Students Office and Parkhurst Dining services are teaming up to produce Thanksgiving dinner free of charge for all Allegheny students who do not get to go home. The meal will not be a deduction from student’s regular meal plan.

Although Allegheny students will be scattered all over the country for Thanksgiving break, some of the Gator community will be staying on campus and celebrating the holiday on campus.

Jennifer Foxman, assistant dean of students and director of resident life, said the exact number of students staying on campus is unclear because students are not required to register if they chose not to go home over break.

“Our halls are open for Thanksgiving. We don’t close. We close for winter break, but not for Thanksgiving,” Foxman said.

Foxman said that while many of the resident advisers on campus will be going home for break, there will still be RAs on campus to address any potential concerns for each residence hall. The usual professional staff will also be on call, according to Foxman.

“Everyday here we have the security office that is open but there’s always a residence life professional person on call. There’s always a counselor on call and there’s always a dean of students person on call. And that’s true over Thanksgiving as well. So there’s actually quite a bit of support,” Foxman said.

This year the number of international students attending Allegheny College is significantly higher than past years. Approximately 41 countries are represented across the student population, ranging as far from China to the Middle East and across the U.S. For the students that are unable to go home for the holidays, they look for a way to make Allegheny home.

The Dean of Students Office and Parkhurst Dining Services have made arrangements to serve meals for students remaining on campus during Thanksgiving break. These meals are provided at no additional cost, and participating will not subtract swipes or Munch Money from your meal plan. If you plan to stay on campus for all or part of the weekend and want to receive a meal, you should complete this form (found on My Allegheny)no later than Monday, Nov. 24. Please refer to the sign-up form for more information about the meal schedule, and please note that meals will not be served on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 27. If you have any questions, please contact Ed Giles at [email protected].