Home Away from Home: Thanksgiving with Residential Faculty

Many students flocked home for Thanksgiving break, but many stayed on campus as well. Residential faculty, who work to engage and foster stronger relationships with residents, from various res halls hosted Thanksgiving dinners inviting students who decided to stay on campus for the break.

Cook and her residents wrote leaves of gratitude onto a Thanksgiving poster before their meal.

Cook and her residents wrote leaves of gratitude onto a Thanksgiving poster before their meal.

Rifka Cook hosted about 30 students, several of them international, at Allison — complete with Thanksgiving-themed posters to share what they were grateful for. After hours of food, talk, and games, Cook said she “honestly couldn’t ask for more joy” and felt very blessed to share the holiday season with them.

Other faculty, such as Jeanine Casler from Hobart House, hosted smaller groups of students. Though her Argentinian husband doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving and she is a vegetarian, Casler invited students over for dinner and served their traditional homemade gnocchi. Tali Figueroa, from Goodrich/Bob-McCulloch and Jake Smith and Freda Love Smith, from Elder, also shared dinner with their residents.

Jason Roberts cooked dinner with his wife at Chapin Hall, Melissa Foster from Shepard/1838 Chicago hosted a pie tasting and apple cider night, and Roger Boye opted to cater food from Compass — which he said was hot, ready to serve, and more than enough for seconds and thirds.

Boye also brought over a special speaker, Medill alum Erin Ailworth from the Wall Street Journal, to Communications Residential College. “It was as if the students were treated to a mini fireside during dinner,” Boye said.

Thank you to those at residential services who are so willing to share their homes with students living on campus. Especially during the holidays, which can be just as lonely as they can be wonderful, a simple dinner and warm company is all the more special.