On-campus Friendsgiving happens over break for those who stayed


Emma Anderson

While a mass exodus has happened on campus with students heading back to their hometowns for Thanksgiving break, this isn’t the case for all students at South Dakota State.

Whether it is due to lack of transportation or destinations that are too far to travel to, students who stay on campus do not need to miss out on the traditional Thanksgiving festivities.

For the fourth consecutive year, Friendsgiving, will be held in from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 22 in Binnewies Hall.

“When we started this program, we felt there is a number of students who stay on campus who can’t just go home for a short holiday break and there just isn’t much else available on campus,” said Kas Williams, interim director of the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Access.

Even though it feels like campus shuts down and there is no one around, Friendsgiving can help the holiday feel less lonely.

“This is a way to allow students to enjoy their break although they remain on campus,” Florencio Aranda III, program advisor for Latina/o/x Affairs, said.

This event, which is sponsored by Residence Life and the Multicultural Center, provides a meal along with activities for students to enjoy.

“In the past we have make turkey and have also had the option of ham as well, and then we also do all the sides like a traditional Thanksgiving dinner,” Williams said. “Then we always watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade and just sit around and talk and have fun just like at home in the living room.”

There is usually more than enough food, so students are always welcome to take home some leftovers.

Additionally, card and board games are also provided, courtesy of the residence halls, and many faculty members have donated desserts for the event as well, Aranda said.

Last year nearly 75 staff members and students attended Friendsgiving on a first come, first serve basis.

“When you are stuck on campus, especially when families are getting together, you don’t want to be in your room eating a bag of Ramen noodles on Thanksgiving day,” Williams said.  

The goal of Friendsgiving is to make students feel at home and like they are surrounded by friends and family, even if theirs are miles away.

“Come out and fill your bellies, because that’s what we do on Thanksgiving,” Williams said.