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Friday, December 09, 2022 — Houston, TX

Campus prepares to celebrate Thanksgiving

Jennifer Liu / Thresher

By Sejal Gupta     11/15/22 11:42pm

As Thanksgiving break nears, students and faculty planning to remain on campus have begun preparations to celebrate the holiday at Rice.

During the break, some colleges will host a Thanksgiving dinner organized by students and the college’s core teams. This year, all of the serveries are closed on Thanksgiving Day. Multiple serveries will be open on Wednesday and Baker Kitchen will be open on Friday and Saturday. 

Organizations on campus, such as the Rice Baptist Student Ministry and the Rice QuestBridge Scholars Network Chapter, are also planning events for students on campus. Rice BSM matches students with local families hosting Thanksgiving dinners, helps arrange transportation for those who need it and welcomes all students to sign up. The Rice QuestBridge Chapter is hosting its annual QuestGiving on Friday for first-generation low-income students on campus. 

Jazmine Castillo, Rice QSN president, said that QuestBridge hosts QuestGiving for FGLI students who are not able to go home for Thanksgiving. (Editor’s note: Jazmine Castillo is the Thresher’s distribution manager).

“It’s for the students who didn’t get a chance to go home for Thanksgiving, to give them a chance to have dinner with a community,” Castillo, a McMurtry College senior, said. “This is a less formal alternative to the magisters’ Thanksgiving dinners.”

Kasey Leigh Yearty, a Sid Richardson College RA, said that the university made some arrangements for students to have meals over the break provided last year.

“Less than 50 [Sid Richardson] students stayed on campus during Thanksgiving break. We expect numbers to be comparable to what we saw last year,” Yearty said. “The university provided frozen meals for students to enjoy, and we were able to distribute those over time so that they were able to last throughout the break.”

Since there are resources available for meals on Thanksgiving day through residential college dinners, Debi Saha, the Rice QSN Chapter events coordinator, said Rice QSN hosts Questgiving on Friday to stagger when students can access free food on campus.

“[Last year] we had about 30 people show up for the dinner itself … we also invite people around campus at the end when handing out leftovers,” Saha, a Lovett College junior, said. “Thanksgiving can be a very lonely time for FGLI students on campus ... Students meet new people [at Questgiving]. Sometimes, [Questgiving] is people’s first interaction with the Questbridge chapter.”

Students can access the Student Success Initiative’s pantry in the student center between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday for non-perishable foods, but it will be closed Wednesday and Thursday.

Jingwen Hu, a Will Rice College junior, said that campus itself can be very quiet over the holiday. Hu, who stayed on campus for Thanksgiving break last year, said she wished there was more to do on campus. 

“[Thanksgiving break] was really empty, there was no one on campus,” Hu said. “It would be nice to have other things going on so campus would be more lively”.

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Due to a power outage at the East Water Purification Plant on Nov. 27 that led to water pressure dropping, Houston’s main water system was under a boil water notice beginning late Sunday until Tuesday morning. The Rice crisis management team sent out an email alert saying that all buildings east of Alumni Drive, including all of the residential colleges and the Rice Memorial Center, are serviced by the campus well and were not affected by the boil water requirement. However, buildings west of Alumni Drive, such as the Barbara and David Gibbs Recreation and Wellness Center, were impacted.


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