Jamison Guice, Campus Carrier features editor
Jana Morning, Campus Carrier asst. features editor
With Thanksgiving coming up, it is a time for us to remind one another what we are grateful for and reflect on the small victories we have faced this year with, despite the pandemic, social and political unrest and the other difficulties 2020 has dealt us. This year, the Catholic Student Association (CSA) will be hosting a Friendsgiving event on Nov. 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Deerfield patio, weather permitting.
Similar to Thanksgiving, but not to be confused with the national holiday, CSA president, junior Judson Baker said Friendsgiving is centered around friends and food. He said the event allows friends to gather and break bread.
“We wanted people to be able to feel welcome to come and, even though we’re hosting the event, to have it be something that lots of people can come together and just have that moment of friendship and take time out from a stressful semester,” Judson said.
This is the first year for CSA to throw a Friendsgiving, and Judson said one hope for the event is for it to be cross-denominational. He does not want it to feel segregated to just Catholics since the goal is for other people of different religions to feel welcome.
CSA vice president, senior Elena Baker, mentions the event offers students an opportunity to build community. She said Friendsgiving serves as a reminder that students should not have an us versus them mentality, since everyone is undergoing stressful life situations.
This stress is what spurred club members to create the event. Elena Baker said there is a disconnect between what students want and what they were getting out of both CSA and the Berry community. So, rather than just hosting a Friendsgiving with close friends, her and other club members had the idea to make it public in order to bridge the gap with people on campus and their experiences with the club.
“You never see an unfriendly face on campus or, like, everybody’s a friend,” Elena said. “It’s something like that and really that’s true. And hopefully we can all, like, prove that in a certain sense with Friendsgiving.”
If attending the event, CSA member, junior Kyla Hill said students are encouraged to sign-up on Berry Connect to receive a pre-packaged dinner catered by Honey Baked Ham that will include ham, mashed potatoes and other traditional Thanksgiving food items. The food will be pre-packaged to avoid cross-contamination.
Hill said online registration is not required, however, there will be a limited quantity of food available for students who do not pre-register. All students are welcome to participate in the coloring and crafts that will be available. Some available crafts will include wreath making and paper crafts to make turkeys. Colored pencils and markers will be available.
“We’re just trying to build and encourage fellowship on campus between our members, of course, but we also want to reach out to everyone on campus to come together,” Hill said. “Catholic or non-Catholic. We just want everyone to come together and enjoy the holiday and enjoy eating food and crafts.”
CSA Secretary, junior Ally Carpenter said because of the social distancing guidelines put in place this fall semester, it’s been difficult for students, especially freshmen, to socialize, meet new people and make new friends around campus. CSA’s Friendsgiving hopes to serve as an opportunity for students to interact and get to know one another.
“Especially with how stressful this semester has been and how isolated we feel, we just wanted to provide another event that people can mix and mingle and have fun and chill,” Carpenter said.
The CSA members stressed that Friendsgiving is a campus-wide event and that students of all backgrounds, regardless of religion, are welcome to attend.
“The purpose of this is to bring people together,” Carpenter said. “We’re doing everything we can on our end to make everything safe and comfortable, and create a welcoming and nurturing environment just so people, especially the freshmen and people who feel marginalized due to a lot of the tension that has been happening this semester. We really want to make a space for them and everyone to come together for solidarity.”