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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Crime log: Subject barred after shoplifting at bookstore
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 26, 2024

Stuck in D.C., students grab Thanksgiving meal on Mount Vernon campus

The day after Thanksgiving, when most GW students were still away from campus, some students who never left for the break sat down to a traditional Thanksgiving feast with all the trimmings.

The seventh annual Mount Vernon campus Post-Thanksgiving dinner was held Friday, providing a free meal for students who did not go home – no matter the reason why – as well as their guests.

Jenn Solt, the associate director of Mount Vernon Campus Life, credits Dean of Freshmen Fred Siegel and other administrators for starting the free dinner.

“For students who don’t get to go home, it brings a little taste of home. It offers the opportunity for fellowship,” she said.

She and other Mount Vernon campus staff, including a community director and house proctors, joined about 30 students for the meal.

Solt said students choose not to leave for the break for different reasons. For some, it is too far to travel or too expensive.

“A lot of international students take advantage [of the dinner]. For a lot of them it’s their first American Thanksgiving,” Solt explained.

Mari Inoue, a first-year graduate student from Japan, has attended the dinner every year since her freshman year five years ago.

“I never go home,” Inoue said. “Usually I just do homework and hang out with friends. I have a lot of international students as friends.”

She said the number of dinner participants has increased over the years.

One house proctor for Somers Hall, sophomore Jake Stewart, said he could have gone back to Idaho, but instead his friend from home who attends Southern Virginia University came to visit and attended the dinner.

“I did go home last year. I found it not as worth it to go home for a few days,” Stewart said.

Shelby Kimber, a freshman in Somers, lives in Dallas.

“It didn’t make sense to go home for two days,” she said, adding that it would cost nearly $400 for a plane ticket.

Kimber said on Thanksgiving she and other residents celebrated in their building by making food and eating together. She spent part of her break doing homework, and planned to see a movie after the dinner.

Liyou Libsekal, a sophomore from Ethiopia, said her family doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but she liked the traditional dinner that included turkey, stuffing, vegetables and cranberry sauce.

Sophomore Lisa Mangiarelli, a house proctor living in Clark Hall, said a few of the residents in her building stayed over break.

“I knew residents were going to be staying. A lot are international students, so I wanted to introduce them to Thanksgiving,” she said.

While Mangiarelli was able to spend more time with her residents, she said she also stayed because of the travel expense to go home to Rhode Island and having classes all day Wednesday before the holiday.

“The goal was to get caught up with homework,” she said of her break plans, but she said she was also relaxing.

Sophomore Emily Taylor, from Washington state, works for the Peace Corps and lives in Cole Hall.

“I’m staying partially because I can work over break,” she said, but added that the $800 plane ticket and amount of time spent in an airport also factored into her decision.

Like the other students, she’s also catching on homework, but Taylor said she liked how the dinner was a way to build community.

“It’s a really nice surprise,” she said of the dinner.

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