Swarthmore is once again celebrating Thanksgiving with a host of events on campus this year, fostering community among students, staff, faculty, and friends.
The Swarthmore African-American Student Society (SASS) started the festivities on Sunday with its annual dinner held at the Black Cultural Center (BCC). With the aid and co-sponsorship of the BCC staff, SASS co-presidents Taylor Tucker ’20 and Wrenn Odim ’20 directed the event to huge success. Tucker, seeing the event as a “giant family-style Thanksgiving,” found that it was a great time for students to unwind, catch up with friends, and have a good meal.
“Everything came together perfectly in the end, thanks to everyone who helped with the planning and cooking,” says Tucker, a Black studies and educational studies special major from Marcus Hook, Pa. “And I definitely felt super happy hearing laughter radiate throughout the house Sunday evening.”
Among other events are recurring favorites like the Turkey Trot, a festive food drive and walkathon held Tuesday at Clothier Stadium, where participants socialize and enjoy music while contributing to a great cause.
“The annual Turkey Trot is a great event to build community throughout Swarthmore College, and to give back to our surrounding neighbors,” says Assistant Athletics Director for Recreation and Wellness Max Miller. With approximately 20 attendees, this year’s event collected more than 125 pounds of nonperishable foods for local food banks.
Additionally, Public Safety began a new series of events called Safety Breaks. The first event, on Monday, gave students pointers on how to inspect their vehicles and pack safely for Thanksgiving travel, alongside some snacks and hot chocolate for participants.
“Thanksgiving is one of the most heavily traveled holidays, and much of that traveling is done by car,” says Public Safety Director Mike Hill. “I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a safe and restful holiday.”
For those staying on campus for the holiday, Public Safety will also offer lunch on Friday at Bond Memorial Hall to discuss cyber safety, especially surrounding Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping. Additionally, Dining Services will offer a Thanksgiving feast on Thursday, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
At the International Student Center, Assistant Dean and Director of International Student Programs Jennifer Marks-Gold has been guiding students who may be unfamiliar with Thanksgiving festivities to welcoming host families in Swarthmore Borough, who offer space at their tables so students can take part in dinner and the holiday experience.
“Hosting truly has been a privilege, joy, and blessing for us all,” says the Meeker family, who have been welcoming international students to their Thanksgiving dinners since 2014.
Many other students plan to gather in small groups to cook or visit friends and family in the U.S., Marks-Gold says.
Shaurya Bhaskar ’20, a transfer student this year from Punjab, India, expressed how excited he was to attend his first Thanksgiving with friends in Boston.
“I hope the food is good,” he says with a laugh. “An undercooked turkey would spoil the ambiance.”