The transition from quarters to semesters may be hard on some students this Thanksgiving. So leaders from the Unclassified Staff Advisory Council (USAC), Alumni Association, Residence Services and We Serve U are trying to provide a solution they hope will become a new Thanksgiving tradition.
The first annual Raidersgiving event is being organized for the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s an opportunity for students who can’t get home this holiday to spend it with fellow students, staff and faculty from Wright State University.
Previously under the quarter system, students would start a six-week winter break at Thanksgiving, allowing many to go home for the holidays. But the semester system features a traditional four-day Thanksgiving break and then a return to classwork until Dec. 15. USAC members believe that will give some students little choice but to stay on campus for Thanksgiving.
“We want to provide dinner, a holiday meal, fellowship and some activities for these students,” said Craig This, USAC chair. “We’re not trying to replace what they get from home, just give them a fun environment and a chance to be with others for the holiday at their home-away-from-home.”
International students, independent scholars and students who live in the residence halls who live out of state may be some of the groups who have few options on campus because the dining halls will be closed. That reality is driving many groups on campus to find something to contribute.
“Ohio State’s been doing a similar event for 25 years and they get 2,000 people each year,” said This. “The first year they got just 25.”
USAC leaders expect Raidersgiving to start slowly too, but they want it to start. They don’t want to miss an opportunity to include all students on campus for a holiday tradition that could grow into an event that many look forward to each year.
“What we’re trying to do is just reach out and make these students feel even more a part of the Wright State community more than anything else,” said This.
The first Raidersgiving will be held Thursday, Nov. 22, at the Forrest Lane Community Center from noon to 2 p.m. Activities are also being planned for Friday, Nov. 23.
Raidersgiving has also received financial support from Alumni Association, Sodexo, and Student Government.