November 22, 2013
SU community celebrates ThanksgivingStudents may complain of professors who spoon-feed, preferring instead to learn new concepts through independent exploration and critical thinking.
Each year at Susquehanna's Thanksgiving dinner, however, the Susquehanna faculty takes the meaning of spoon-feeding to a whole new level.
For students unfamiliar with this Susquehanna tradition, the faculty doesn't actually force food into students' mouths. Instead, they serve turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie to students in a sit-down restaurant style dinner in the cafeteria.
Assistant Professor of Psychology James Briggs, said that he decided to serve for the first time last year because he thought it was a neat tradition.
Briggs said, "Other faculty told me that it was a lot of fun and that the students and faculty both enjoy it."
Kaitlyn Wahila, head field hockey coach, said that she has served at the Thanksgiving dinner for the past two years. She agreed with Briggs and said: "[It's] deep and rich in tradition not only for the students who come, but for the faculty and staff, especially President Lemons. He always has some great speech in regards to Susquehanna and the students that we have here."
Cindy Moyer, care coordinator and office manager for the Counseling Center and a fifth-year server, said that she likes how the event brings allof the students together with faculty and staff.
Moyer said, "It's a real sense of family, which is a great part of Thanksgiving and the celebration."
Although Briggs, Moyer and Wahila enjoy serving at the Thanksgiving dinner, they admit it can be difficult. One challenge is that some students have impressive appetites.
Moyer said: "It's very busy in that you need to keep the food coming. When you have a table full of big eaters, you need to be on the ball."
Briggs said that he's never worked as a waiter or a bus boy, so it was stressful.
"We only had so much time to get the food to the students," Briggs said.
According to Briggs, each year the cafeteria staff prepares the food and then the faculty is assigned to serve tables.
The amount of tables that the faculty members serve depends on the total number of volunteers and tables.
"We want to make sure that the students have a good time, and that they don't have to wait too long to get their food," Briggs said.
Despite the time crunch last year, Briggs said that he has had a good experience overall.
"It was fun interacting with students in a different kind of setting where I waited on them," Briggs said.
Moyer said she thinks that serving at the dinner is a good way to give back to the campus.
"The students are always so appreciative, and they truly look forward to this time together," Moyer said.
Wahila said that she's always grateful to see her entire field hockey team at the dinner.
"It's nice seeing them together as a team enjoying the wonderful Thanksgiving meal that Aramark and the dining services put on," Wahila said.
In the year of the newly founded "Susquehanna Traditions" initiative, Briggs, Moyer and Wahila agree that the Thanksgiving dinner is a faculty favorite.
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