The smell of turkey wafts its way through the different rooms and the air is frigid as people gather around the table bundled in their sweaters ready to fill their stomachs in celebration of all things worth being thankful for.
Usually travel plans are made simply to gather around the table, yet many John Brown University students will enjoy this day of celebration right here in Siloam Springs.
“Home” for a large population of the University students is overseas. This fact can lead to a very lively Thanksgiving right on campus.
Students who stay on campus will be kept company by others on the residence life staff. Bryan Cole and Sarah Erdman will be resident directors on duty for the break. Each dorm will also have a resident assistant on duty for the entirety of the break.
Cole, the townhouse resident director, expressed his own personal dedication to still making Thanksgiving feel like home for those who find themselves in of Siloam Springs for the holiday break.
“I am very passionate about making sure people have a place to go, whether that is [residence life] or families in the community,” Cole said.
Many area families open up their homes to students who were not able to travel home for the holiday, inviting them over to partake in the traditional meal.
“We do our best to make sure everyone has a place to go for thanksgiving dinner,” Cole explained.
The residence life staff plays a large role in placing students with families. The resident assistants have the job of finding out which students will be on campus during the break. The resident directors then place the students with surrounding host families.
Senior Mallory Williams is a resident assistant in Hutcheson. She is missing a Thanksgiving at home to be on duty. Williams and Cole both realized that they would be on campus to celebrate the holiday and decided they should do something to unite the students that would be around.
They plan to host a movie night in one of the townhouses Wednesday night during the break. Both the movie to be watched and the exact details of the event are yet to be announced.
For Williams, this is her first Thanksgiving where she has not traveled during the break. Yet, she is not worried about her holiday being boring. She is excited to spend time with those still on campus and on her hall.
The Kresge Dining Hall will be closed from Wednesday to Sunday. The California Café will be open during its normal hours, except for on Thursday, when it will be closed.