Many depart campus early for Thankgiving holiday

by Mary Katherine Flanigan | 11/22/05 6:00am

The dining halls have been a little emptier lately as students began their exodus from campus, headed home to their families. Many students, especially those who live far away, chose to leave as soon as possible in order to take advantage of the short Thanksgiving break.

Anticipating this early departure and figuring in their personal travel plans, several professors, such as history professor Steven Ericson, designed their syllabi so that they would not hold classes on Monday and Tuesday and instead make up the time during x-hours scheduled the week before or the week after Thanksgiving.

For freshmen, many of whom have never been away from their families for such an extended period of time, Thanksgiving represents more than a break in classes. They are eager to head home and would not dream of staying on campus to get an early start on studying for finals.

"There's no way you could get me to stay on campus. My family is very important to me," Amber Gode '09 said. "Thanksgiving has always been a very important holiday to us. It's a time for us to get together and celebrate being a family and celebrate what we have."

But students who can't go home because of travel restrictions or choose to remain on campus are concerned about finding places to eat and how to occupy the free time.

"I'm going to hang out with the other kids that are staying here and sleep a lot. I'll probably sit in my common room and watch movies like the British History PBS series," Jo Xu '09 said.

Other students plan on staying on campus to study non-stop in anticipation for final exams.

"I'm not going to have fun during Thanksgiving because finals are the week after. I just want to be prepared and be a good student," Bryan Chong '09 said.

While finding something to occupy time over break is easy, finding a place to eat on campus is a more problematic. Dartmouth Dining Services has decided not to open any facilities over break. All dining halls will close by 4 p.m. Wednesday and reopen at the earliest on Sunday afternoon.

Lone Pine Tavern, however, will be open Saturday for dinner from 5 to 11 p.m.

Staying on campus during a family holiday, students miss home-cooked Thanksgiving dinners, but there are many options for students to either cook together or just enjoy a full Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings.

Aquinas House, the Catholic student center, will host a Thanksgiving dinner at 1 p.m. for all interested students. The East Wheelock residential cluster will also be hosting a full dinner for a nominal fee. Both groups welcome students to come help cook for their classmates.

In addition to these on-campus options, Everything But Anchovies will continue its 29-year tradition of providing a full turkey dinner to the Hanover community. They will begin serving at 11 a.m., and the full meal costs $8.99. The event also features a dessert bar for $2.99 in addition to their regular menu.

With dining services shut down and most students and employees home with their families, things calm down considerably around campus. Despite this decrease in activity and security incidents, Safety and Security still maintains a presence on campus.

"It does get a little less hectic, but we still patrol the campus. We maintain a minimum of two guards and a control dispatcher while the College is on break," College Proctor Harry Kinne said. "We focus on the locations that have people. We know where they will be staying and working."