Students stay on Hill for holiday

Adriane Hardin

Usually, you eat turkey.

That’s all that Karina Ledaja knows about Thanksgiving.

The freshman from Liepaja, Latvia, has never celebrated the holiday.

While most students head home for the holiday, Western’s international students, like Ledaja, who call Bowling Green home year-round, find themselves celebrating ‘Hilltopper style.’

Ledaja plays tennis for Western and lives in McCormack Hall. She plans to spend Thanksgiving day at her coach’s house and then travel to Atlanta, Ga.

Dorms will be closed during Thanksgiving break, except for Pearce-Ford Tower, which will have its own Thanksgiving dinner.

“We don’t focus on it a lot. It’s a good program,” said PFT Hall Director Lana Riney of the dinner. “It’s one of the perks of the job … (You) get to meet students and hang out with them.”

Any student who is a resident of PFT and plans to stay on campus during Thanksgiving break can attend. They are asked to bring a dish.

As one purpose of the dinner is to help international students understand the American holiday, most will bring a dish from their culture.

“We teach them a little bit about tradition … They bring their own home here instead of going home,” Riney said.

Riney purchased two turkeys for the meal as well as ham and beverages.

The Residence and Housing Association donated $75 to PFT for the Thanksgiving fund.

Some PFT staff, like Resident Assistant Regina Gomez, face the possibility of working during the holiday.

The senior from Bogot?, Colombia, doesn’t seem to mind.

“(Thanksgiving) for American people is more important than for me. So I work for them,” Gomez said. “I’m gonna make rice from my country … something typical from my country.”

“It’s just part of the job,” added junior Dana Lockhart, a member of the PFT staff from Hendersonville, Tenn.

Some, like graduate student Mei-Li Lin from Taipei, Taiwan, will use the holiday as an opportunity to study for finals.

“It’s not so meaningful … (I’ll) probably be studying for finals,” Lin said. “(I’ll) go to church in Nashville one day after Thanksgiving to go shopping. They tell me there is a big sale around the mall.”

The Thanksgiving dinner in PFT will be held at 1:30 p.m. Thursday on the 27th floor.

Reach Adriane Hardin at [email protected]