While it might look a little different this year, Hillsdale’s Student Activities Board is still hosting its annual Thanksgiving Dinner tonight from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Knorr Family Dining Hall.
Traditionally, SAB hosts this formal event in the Searle Center, but this year due to various COVID-19 restrictions, the team has chosen to have the event in the dining hall, provided by Bon Appetit.
“In years past it’s been its own event and a pretty big deal, but this year with all the restrictions on events and food service, we decided to keep it in the cafeteria in the student union,” SAB leader Zane Mabry said. “It’ll be a nicer meal than normal, but not as quite a full scale event.”
Small events coordinator and senior Claire Lupini said this will be the best way to serve the most amount of people in a safe way.
“We still want to have the integrity of a Thanksgiving meal,” Lupini said. “We are going to decorate the dining hall and have centerpieces so it will still look like Thanksgiving.”
Students will still have to follow the Bon Appetit dining protocols that include wearing a mask until seated and only allowing one person per table.
“Unfortunately because Bon Appetit is a national company and they do need to follow the restrictions that were put out by the governor, that means only one person per table right now,” Lupini said. “Whether or not that continues during the dinner, we’re still hoping everyone can enjoy the dinner.”
The annual Day of Thanks event will still be taking place as well all day in the Student Union. Today from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. students can stop by to pick up a thank you card to send to donors, friends, professors, family, or anyone else they wish to thank.
“We encourage mask wearing and spacing, and we’d prefer not to have giant crows, but there are not other specific changes or restrictions to the event,” Mabry said. “We’re still encouraging everyone who can to come and write a thank you card.”
For students who are in quarantine, thank you cards will still be available in the SAB office to pick up after today’s event.
Mabry said it’s been difficult for him and his team to make plans and host events this semester, but he’s still happy with how they’ve been able to work together. Over the last couple of weeks, as much as half of the team has been in quarantine at the same time.
“It’s been tough of course, but those in quarantine have still been able to help a lot,” he said. “We’ve still had good communication and we’ve been able to get a lot done.”
Lupini, who is in quarantine currently, said she is still able to help with the planning, just in different ways.
“I know for myself it’s been an interesting challenge to work through being at home and doing as much as I can virtually,” she said. “People drop things off for me to clean and then they take it back up the hill.”
Despite all of these changes and restrictions, Lupini said she hopes the dinner, which will still have “all the works,” will be enjoyable for everyone.