Students on campus over the holidays make their own traditions


Photo courtesy of Roger Boye

Students on campus made the most of the break in the spirit of togetherness, from attending NU events to spending time with friends.

Chiara Kim, Assistant Social Media Editor

While many students left campus for the break, community members staying at Northwestern fostered their own holiday spirit. Whether attending university events or building their own traditions, Northwestern students leveraged their resources to make the most of the break in the spirit of togetherness.

Since the early 2000s, Communications Residential College faculty chair and Medill Professor Emeritus Roger Boye has hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for CRC residents and former Medill Cherubs. 

After last year’s socially distanced, masked Thanksgiving in the CRC lounge, Boye said the tradition would return to its roots this year.

“I thought last year didn’t go too well,” Boye said. “I think (this year will) go a lot better, and it gives people a change of pace.”

The dinner returned to a common area in a downtown Evanston residential building with a view of Lake Michigan, which Boye said he reserved about six months ago. 

Communication sophomore Sophia Gambill attended the annual South Area Thanksgiving dinner hosted by Faculty-in-Residence Rifka Cook. Gambill said the event filled the Allison Hall lounge with over 30 people.

“Rifka had us fill out these little leaves that said what we were thankful for that went on a big tree,” Gambill said. “She also handed out these little stories about why you should be thankful for things in your life … and it was nice to get to talk to a lot of different people.”

Gambill stayed on campus last year as well and said she had a positive experience overall. She spent time with friends who stayed as well.

Weinberg sophomore Kelly Teitel worked at a local restaurant over the break and spent a lot of time with her roommate who lives in Chicago. 

Teitel said she didn’t spend much time on campus because there wasn’t much to do, especially with the dining halls operating on limited hours. Besides accidentally joining a turkey trot while going for a run on Thanksgiving, most of her activities were unrelated to Thanksgiving. 

“Since my roommate has a car, we went to a few different cafes and things like that,” Teitel said. “We went to a disco night, which was fun.”

Teitel wasn’t looking for activities on campus, but she said she might have been interested in a more formal Thanksgiving meal or potluck. 

Weinberg sophomore Toma Hirose, who doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, said he and his friends went to Joy Yee because nothing else was open that day. 

“Having at least some food would be nice on campus,” Hirose said. “It doesn’t have to be the entire dining hall being open – having packaged food or something… would be nice.”

Gambill said that things being closed made campus feel “desolate” at times – she said events to restore campus energy may have been beneficial. 

Over winter break, Residential Services is partnering with the Office of International Student and Scholar Services to offer programming like trips to the Christkindlmarket and Boxing Day shopping at Old Orchard. 

Boye said hosting Thanksgiving for students takes a lot of effort, such as dealing with catering. However, the gratitude he has received has made the tradition well worth the hassle for him. At one graduation, a mother thanked him for hosting her daughter during her freshman year. 

“She was talking about an event that happened three and a half years earlier and still remembered it,” Boye said. “So that kind of gave me the initiative to continue.”