Sharing the Holiday Spirit on Campus
Issue   |   Wed, 11/30/2011 - 02:39

For many students, Thanksgiving break is a time to return to home and family, to reunite with friends and relatives and stuff themselves with great home-cooked food. Cherishing loved ones forms the traditional meaning of the holiday. At this time of the year, many families humbly welcome friends and acquaintances into their home to share in the intimate celebrations. While enjoying the warmth and sense of community that the break provides, we need to remember that a lot of students don’t, or can’t, go home during this time of the year for reasons ranging from work to finance.

Students who can should accommodate classmates and peers left without a warm Thanksgiving memory. It’s fair to expect the College to make students feel welcomed and included the meaning of Thanksgiving. Given that many students may be experiencing their first Thanksgiving in America, we should appreciate the importance of imparting the holiday spirit with a long-lasting impression of our hospitality.

In previous years, students staying on campus during break enjoyed a slim menu of options, more often than not, for food and entertainment. Often, the break traps these students in empty dorms, surviving on ramen noodles. The dichotomy of experiences felt by Amherst students who could and could not leave over break stands uncomfortably pronounced.
For the first time in recent memory, the College decided to do something to address the emptiness felt by students who stayed on during break, and organized fun activities and served a gourmet Thanksgiving meal. Students who stayed on campus greatly appreciated the entertainment and quality food served on campus during break. The College not only brought more than satisfied bellies to Amherst students, but also imparted the meaning of Thanksgiving to many who are unfamiliar with its traditions. We commend the College for these efforts, and we hope they continue these efforts in the future.

This is our second editorial concerning Thanksgiving break, but we stress that these thoughts are not specifically regarding the break itself, but how the actions of the institution is reflective of a larger culture at Amherst and how it is shaped, formed and changed. With the recent heated discussion over diversity and community between various groups on campus, we feel even small changes in how Amherst institutionally handles things is reflective of its larger attitude towards all the students at the College.