Home is where the heart is, but sometimes the heart stays home, whether it be two miles away or thousands of miles away. November, which includes Thanksgiving the holiday of gratitude and reflection, is a time for people to lend a hand to make others feel welcomed.
On Tuesday, Nov. 22 American and international students met in the Great Hall from 4-6 p.m. to celebrate and learn about the classic holiday Thanksgiving.
The Pierce College Diversity Committee supplied the funds for the dinner while the Associated Students Organization (ASO) organized and set up the event.
Together, with their combined efforts established a learning opportunity for students to familiarize themselves with one another and the history of the holiday.
The event was held to give international students a sense of community among their fellow students.
“Some of them can’t travel home to their families, so we wanted them to feel they had a family here at Pierce,” Student Engagement Coordinator and Counselor Lara Conrady-Wong said.
Students needed to reserve their seat for the dinner almost three weeks in advance. Between 35 to 40 international students had reserved spots at the dinner, out of the hundred spots available.
There are currently 188 international students enrolled at Pierce College as of fall semester 2016, according to Director of International Student Services and member of the Diversity Committee Abby Watson.
“It’s not solely for international students, but many of these students are international students. Most of them are American students, but it really is to welcome our international students and show them what an American Thanksgiving is like,” Watson said.
A customary dinner was served with turkey, cranberry sauce, green beans, cornbread and other staples of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Pumpkin pie was served for dessert.
A short History Channel documentary “History of the Holiday’s: History of Thanksgiving” was shown while many of the students ate their dinner. The documentary explored the origins of the holiday itself, as well as how many of the customs, came to be associated with the holiday.
A trivia game, Kahoot!, was played after dinner. The game consisted of 25 Thanksgiving related questions. Each table was counted as a team and competed against one another to see who could answer the most questions correctly.
Afterward, a microphone was passed around the audience as individuals were welcomed to speak about what they were thankful for. Students were also encouraged to mingle with one another and build relationships.
“In our political system and our environment, they make you feel a little pressured and I think a priority of any academic institution [is] to push the importance of diversity and the point of everybody being here,” ASO Treasurer Mher Mkrtchian said.