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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

An early Thanksgiving meal, an international experience

The smell of roasted meat and warm bread are reminders of home, however for some students that are attending school out of state or out of the country it can be a time of loneliness.

Pierce College ASO and the Diversity Committee are working together to give international students, staff and faculty a Thanksgiving dinner in the Great Hall on Tuesday, Nov. 22 from 4-6 p.m.

The event will help bring students together and is expected to ease homesickness that many students may feel around the holidays, according to English professor Maria Bates.  

Bates participated by organizing this dinner along with members of ASO and the Diversity Committee and is delighted about the event and its purpose.

“We are excited to support our students and to make their experience in the U.S. as hospitable as possible,” Bates said.

The idea for this event happened after a student mentioned that he was unable to make friends. Director of International Student Services Abigail Watson created this event so that students wouldn’t be alone and could familiarize themselves with the holiday.

A traditional Thanksgiving plate will be served and will include turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and vegetables.

According to Student Engagement Coordinator and Counselor Lara Conrady Wong, it is expected to be highly successful with a full house.

“A lot of students are far away from home so it’s kind of a campus event to create a sense of community and belonging and for them to understand different cultures in America. The event will not only have traditional foods, but we’re going to do some presentations on different reasons why we do this and the origins of Thanksgiving, just so that they are aware of why we get these days off and what Thanksgiving means,” Wong said.

According to Wong, there are limited seats available so the main priority is for the international students.

“International [students] got sent a link to sign up, but there is limited space, just because of the area where it is and the food. ASO is working at it and is co-sponsoring it so ASO is invited to attend. I think it’s open to 125 all together,” Wong said.

According to International Club President Malintha Ellepola, there will be 23  international students attending the dinner and they are expecting more students to attend from International Club. Students not part of the International Club can attend by contacting Wong or Watson and RSVPing ahead of time.

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