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Holiday season doesn't mean home for everyone

by The Stylus
Tue, Nov 27th 2018 10:00 pm
Photo Credit: Elliott LaPoint/EDITORIAL CARTOONIST
Home for the holiday Students who were unable to return home over Thanksgiving break were left wondering where to get a hot meal. With many cafes and dining halls closing for the break, those living on campus had limited options.
Photo Credit: Elliott LaPoint/EDITORIAL CARTOONIST Home for the holiday Students who were unable to return home over Thanksgiving break were left wondering where to get a hot meal. With many cafes and dining halls closing for the break, those living on campus had limited options.

A warm meal, company and love are what everyone seeks during the holidays. While this  standard is the same for celebrating Thanksgiving, not everyone gets what they wish for. Among those who aren’t fortunate to have a place to call home this holiday season are many college students here at The College at Brockport.

Whether it’s international students who have visited the states as part of a study abroad program, student-athletes or individuals who simply cannot leave campus due to financial constraints or personal reasons. A number of higher-education students across the nation are not able to enjoy Thanksgiving at home.

Students attending Brockport are part of the same conversation. The issue stems from multiple reasons individual to each student. Nevertheless, the resources available for them to enjoy Thanksgiving as it has come to be celebrated  with loved ones and delicious food are little to none.

Brockport students who live on campus and are not able to travel back to their families or do not have loved ones who can visit them this holiday were given one option only: remain in their dorms for the five-day break.

The opportunities out there for turkey, mashed potatoes and everything in between are not plentiful either. Since most services are halted altered during break.

The dining services at the college did not run for the entirety of the break and only opened the day before classes started again, Sunday, Nov. 25. To make matters more complicated, one of the few organizations which serves as food pantries in the village of Brockport, Brockport Food Shelf, located on 14 State St, was closed during the holiday. While the village’s popular, Jimmy Z’s held a small sized dinner for local residents before Thanksgiving day, the closest place students could enjoy a cost-free, meal on Thanksgiving was at the neighboring towns of Holley or LeRoy. Then again, those locations are not in neighboring distance if you don’t have any form of transportation.

Simply put, the opportunity to enjoy Thanksgiving is limited for students who are left with no choice, but to stay on campus for the holiday.

While there is a case for the students who are stuck in the predicament to make the most of what they have and try to enjoy Thanksgiving in the best way possible, the chances for them to actually do so are not on their side.

This leaves one question, what could be done in order to make the students who aren’t fortunate enough to be with their family or don’t have loved ones to be around during the holiday season?

The college should offer a two to three-day-long gathering or fair with the town or nearby volunteers in order to bring the holiday to those students.

This gathering could take place in the evening hours with incorporated food and supply donations from residents and town businesses, while on Thanksgiving day, local food markets or restaurants could donate festive food for the plate side of things.

Although nowhere near the full extent of what Thanksgiving is, an effort from the college to bring the holiday closer to students’ hearts would be monumental compared to the current situation.

The Stylus believes the living setup for students who are unable to leave for the holiday break is handled with care as displayed by Brockport’s offer of Morgan Hall housing during the winter break, but by bringing people, food and love into the equation, the college has the opportunity to make students’ Thanksgiving break a memorable one.

Along with a contribution from the college itself, local families could work to support students by opening their doors for the holidays.

Hosting a student for a Thanksgiving meal, having them join in on the fun of traditional activities or even welcoming them to a family conversation or gathering could make all the difference for some people. A small offering can go a long way.

Good deeds always brings people together. A helping hand from families that are home to Brockport would unify the student and residential communities as one for a bond that stretches beyond most of the interaction between the two sides and would bring truth to what are associated with Thanksgiving’s foundation of values to this day.   

Similar to most of the largely celebrated holidays throughout the year, Thanksgiving brings loved ones together and should not be sacrificed for any reason and for no one.

Despite the obstacles that stand in the way of having a full experience, there should always be a way in which one enjoys Thanksgiving and what it really stands for.

We at The Stylus, believe no matter the complications splitting students from family, a good meal and a place to call home during the holiday season, everyone should have a fair chance to have a great Thanksgiving.

With the help of the college, town residents and other charitable entities, the spirit of Thanksgiving and any other holidays could stay alive for the students who aren’t as fortunate as others.