“Friendsgiving” at Hamilton
For most students, Thanksgiving Break is a week for family; for others, including international students who are not able to return home, it is a time for new cultural experiences and friends. Although the campus was quiet and cold, this Thanksgiving (or “Friendsgiving”) at Hamilton was made warmer with community-building activities and shared holiday spirit.
On Thanksgiving Day, several faculty and staff opened their homes to students remaining on campus. Chris Flores, Admissions Office director of international recruitment, hosted a night full of fun and food at his house. Students enjoyed Latin American dishes such as Pernil (pork), Peruvian Causa (potato cake), and Cuban-style rice, as well as typical Thanksgiving food like cranberry orange salad, a 20-pound turkey, and various pies.
Students played Uno, taught each other how to say “Cheers” in their native languages, and worked on a puzzle. Flores said he hosts the event because he loves the students, and remembers when his childhood when his own mother cooked good food and plenty of it. “I wanted to share this food and spirit with others who were stuck on campus,” he said.
From Thursday to Sunday, International Students Association (ISA) organized a trip to Boston. A group of students went to the Museum of Fine Arts, others did Black Friday shopping, and some took the time to reconnect with friends and international alumni living in Boston. They later gathered for a Thanksgiving dinner at an Indian restaurant. One student mentioned singing “Party in the USA” in the jitney as his favorite part of the trip. Fiona Xiang ’22 from Shanghai, China, liked how students “shared [their] own stories and experiences, and got to know a lot more about each other” during the dinner.
Other Thanksgiving Events
Throughout the week, there were on and off-campus events organized by Student Assembly Cultural Affairs Committee, Dean of Students, and QuestBridge Scholars. On Monday and Tuesday, community lunches took place at Commons Dining Hall, bringing together students, faculty, and staff. Participating offices were LITS, Off-Campus Study, Career Center, the Levitt Center, Campus Safety, Auxiliary Services, Communications, Opportunities Program, and Days-Massolo Center.
Twenty students went to the New Hartford movie-plex to see the recently released “Fantastic Beasts and Crimes of Grindelwald,” a Harry Potter series spin-off, while trying out some unusually-named Harry Potter jelly beans, including booger, earwax, and earthworm.
Men’s Ice Hockey Team Head Coach Rob Haberbusch gave a “Hockey 101” workshop on the rules and terminology of hockey, such as offside, face-offs, and icing.
The week included some “firsts” for several students on campus, as they had their first American Thanksgiving dinner, rock-climbed at the Climbing Wall, tried on Korean face masks, and watched their first ice hockey game.