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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Digging in and giving back at QU’s annual holiday dinner

Chief+Experience+Officer%2C+Tom+Ellet%2C+talks+to+a+student+while+serving+roast+beef+at+the+annual+Quinnipiac+undergraduate+holiday+dinner%2C+on+Nov.+30.+
Nicholas Pestritto
Chief Experience Officer, Tom Ellet, talks to a student while serving roast beef at the annual Quinnipiac undergraduate holiday dinner, on Nov. 30.

Quinnipiac University hosted its annual undergraduate holiday dinner on Nov. 30 in the Carl Hansen Student Center dining hall, where students gathered with friends, ate holiday food such as turkey and pie, decorated gingerbread houses and wore festive sweaters.

The event wasn’t just about the free food and photo opportunities, but also about giving back. Students had the opportunity to write letters to veterans and senior citizens for the holiday season.

Adam Shameem, a sophomore sports and entertainment management major, said that he came to the event because the whole community was together, the food was good and he could hang out with his friends.

“It kind of reminds me of Thanksgiving dinner, so you get to realize what season we’re in right now and it’s really good,” Shameem said.

Students posed with holiday props in front of a winter wonderland themed light blue backdrop to take pictures with their friends.

Scott Kaplan, a first-year finance major, said he came to the dinner because of the food and festive atmosphere.

“It’s honestly amazing … it’s been really thought about and really involved and all well set up so I’ve enjoyed everything,” Kaplan said.

Students had the opportunity to decorate gingerbread houses with white icing and a variety of candy, such as gum drops, jelly beans, marshmallows and peppermints.

“We just started (building the gingerbread houses) and I think they’re doing pretty good so far,” Kaplan said during the event.

Many students said they came to the dinner because they didn’t want to use their meal points or they wanted to eat something other than the dining hall food.

“Honestly, I have no meal points and I want to take the free food,” said Brendan Smith, a first-year nursing major. “So, great food so far.”

The dinner provided the faculty with a rare opportunity to directly give back to students by helping them step out of their usual academic element and have a chance to relax before exam week.

Donna Balogh, assistant director of student accounts at One Stop, helped hand out the cards for seniors and veterans.

“This is wonderful … I love to see all the students and all of the staff and faculty,” Balogh said. “It’s a great community thing, makes you feel in the spirit.”

Maryann Reid, One Stop student service counselor, said she loves the holidays and wanted to give back and help the students.

“I see there’s a lot of fun happening, but particularly this is for giving back,” Reid said. “We’re doing cards for seniors and veterans, so I think it’s great because there’s a lot of that during the holidays and everyone seems real responsive to it.”

Tom Ellett, the university’s chief experience officer, served students roast beef at the dinner.

“I hope that (students) get to engage with each other, get to share some of the experiences about what happened at Thanksgiving, what their hopes are and helping each other with a little bit of tips for academics as those finals come,” Ellett said.

According to Ellett, the dinner should be a time for students to take a break.

“We also want them to have a mental health break, like a time for them just to stop thinking about everything except, here’s my friends and let’s chat and doing it over a meal,” Ellett said. “There’s nothing more important than sharing meals together.”

Since finals are around the corner, the holiday dinner gave students a chance to eat good food, spend time with friends and take a much needed break from preparing for projects and exams.

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