Breaking thanksgiving tradition

BREAKING THANKSGIVING TRADITION

BU Students Remain On Campus for Break

by Nica Lasater

Many Boston University students are making the difficult decision to forgo their traditional celebrations by opting to stay on campus over the Thanksgiving recess.

With total cases since July climbing to 405, Dean of Students, Kenneth Elmore, urged students not to go home for the holiday as there is high risk associated with traveling and large gatherings. Those who chose to leave were encouraged not to return and instead complete the semester remotely.

“I would be going home if I could stay focused during finals there,” Vysh Kosuri (CAS ’21) said. “But I think the best study environment for me is campus, so I’m staying put.”

On campus, COVID-19 guidelines, including regular testing and symptom check-ins, will remain in place over the holiday.

BU Dining Services is preparing a Thanksgiving feast featuring traditional dishes like turkey, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie with vegan and gluten free options available as well.

Extending the festivities, several special brunches and dinners will take place from Nov. 26 through Nov. 29. Full menus for BU’s dining halls this weekend can be found on the Dining Services website.

Anna Poppmeier-Mognon (Questrom & CAS ’23), a student from Austria who is staying on campus due to safety concerns surrounding international travel, does not plan to partake in BU’s events, as she doesn’t typically observe the holiday.

“When I moved to the U.S., my homestay families in high school did celebrate Thanksgiving, so I have experienced what it’s like, but it’s not something I usually celebrate,” Poppmeier-Mognon explained. “Since I don’t really care about it, I don’t mind having to stay here.”

Even with a hometown much closer to campus, Korina Zambrano (CAS ’23) is still worried about traveling during the pandemic. This, among other reasons, led to her decision to remain on campus for the break.

“I’m relieved to not be going back to Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving,” Zambrano said. “I do not enjoy visits to my hometown, or the holiday, so I had no motivation to celebrate this year. I feel like the hassle and stress of travel to a high-risk state would not be worth the risk.”

Instead of participating in her family’s annual Thanksgiving dinner which she explained is “an exhausting process,” Zambrano will make a new holiday tradition with her boyfriend, cooking an unconventional vegan meal. Beyond that, her plans include working to pay for next semester and catching up on school.

Kosuri is also staying in part due to financial responsibilities. She will spend most of the break working to “pad [her] bank account” before winter break. However, it was a tough decision as two of her apartment mates chose to go home, leaving her feeling isolated.

“The only exposure to other people I want to risk is at work to make money,” Kosuri said. “But other than that, I’m just going to hole up in my apartment, so I don’t get COVID and can go home safely to my family in December.”

No matter how they spend this unusual holiday season, Kosuri hopes that other students will act responsibly to avoid spreading the virus.