posted 2012-11-21 11:00:38

Give Thanks for Free Food

USG and Office of Student Activities team up with other organizations to host Thanksgiving dinner 

Kaitlin McKendry

Associate Features Editor

On the evening of Nov. 20, USG, in collaboration with the Office of Student Activities, PAL, Amnesties United Group and NYPIRG, hosted its annual free Thanksgiving dinner in the West lobby, open to the entire Hunter community.

The traditional Thanksgiving meal featured green salad, turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, corn, cornbread, cranberry sauce, and gravy. As students entered the event, they were directed to one of two lines, on either side of the room for the buffet style meal, served by members of the USG and Eija Ayravainen, the vice president of Student Affairs and dean of students.

The meal also included a selection of desserts: pumpkin pie, apple pie, and an assortment of cupcakes and pastries. According to Ben Joson, USG president, over 1,100 students attended.
The Amnesties United group and Paths to Animal Liberation group, provided a table for vegan and vegetarian students. The two groups initially planned on hosting their own Thanksgiving meal, however, USG offered to make it a shared event. “It’s a team effort,” said Earth Science major and PAL member, Naeemah Mayard, 21.

The vegan-friendly table featured student cooked dishes including “tofurky,” mashed potatoes, miniature pumpkin cupcakes, and fair-trade coffee.

Once students filled their plates, they sat at festively decorated tables in the lobby, set up especially for the event. Music students, including Joe Tesoro, 21, who performed several jazz selections on the guitar, provided entertainment.
Students seemed highly satisfied with their meals. Clinical lab science major, Mariam Sheikh, 22, said, “I love the event because they have a vegan section, which is great because I’m a vegetarian. I only waited about 25 minutes, so it wasn’t too bad.”

The event, which continued until 9:30 p.m., was bustling with people from start to finish. “I just want everyone to leave full and happy,” said Christina Chaise, student welfare commissioner for USG, who expressed her concern for making sure everyone who wanted food was fed.

Many of the students in attendance come back year after year for the event, despite the lengthy line. “If I don’t graduate this year, I will be back next year for sure!” said Psychology major Kristina Kutuzova, 22.
Students began lining up at approximately 5:30 p.m. for the 6:30 p.m. event. At 6:25 p.m., when members of

USG began letting people into the event, the line stretched through the lobby’s turnstiles, around the corner, and to the entrance of the Hunter bookstore, where it wrapped around several times.

“I’ve been waiting on the line since 5:35 p.m., said undeclared major Trevor O’Mara, 22, at 6 p.m. “I can’t complain though, it’s free food.”

The food was purchased from AVI, the company who also runs the Hunter cafeteria. “AVI made it affordable and convenient,” said Chaise.