Many students are unable to go home and visit their families, so students at the Bush School of Government & Public Service thought it would be a fantastic opportunity to bring graduate students together for a Thanksgiving celebration, crafting a reminder that there is a family presence at the Bush School. The event took place in the Allen Building on November 18, 2022.
Attendees brought their favorite Thanksgiving dish while the main dishes were provided by the Bush School’s Student Government Association (SGA) and Public Service Organization (PSO) students.
SGA president Michael Pack began the evening issuing a moment of silence honoring those who wanted to share a prayer or meditation, but the evening ended with students laughing, sharing good conversation, and enjoying some traditional Thanksgiving dishes. The assortment of foods included traditional baked turkey, an assortment of side dishes and some dessert favorites like apple pie, pumpkin pie, and brownies.
“One thing I am very thankful for at the Bush School is how people seem so willing to help one another when able to. I am blessed by the opportunities I have had so far and the friendships I have made in such a short amount of time. I can’t even express how thankful I truly am for that,” MPSA candidate Serena Porter said.
The dinner transformed the student lounge on the second floor into a place where students could relax and feel a sense of comfort with their classmates, as well as others who they typically do not interact with. The holidays can be a lonely time for students who are far from their family and friends. The dinner brought joy to all participants and reminded students of the things they are thankful for.
“[This Event] served as a mediating structure to bring people together and we definitely needed this,” MPSA candidate Terrance Bailey said. “It was very good to bring together international students, both in international affairs and public administration.”
Bailey described how great it was to be able to be surrounded by people from different backgrounds and different departments but who all have a passion for serving. “I really appreciated when the SGA President Michael Pack came over and sat down and talked with us,” Bailey said. “While my friend and I were not in the main social circle, Pack went out of his way to sit with the two of us and initiated conversation. To see him come out and be a servant leader, even just in a social setting, was very important for me. I think that reflects what the Bush School should be. People that go out of their comfort zone to reach out and touch people who may not be in their sphere of influence.”
After a challenging first semester, Lizette Beltran, MPSA 2024 Candidate, was thankful to be able to share the special day with people she enjoys spending time with.
“I am thankful for many things within the Bush School, but my favorite part is being able to make new friends and having a strong support system throughout the semester,” Beltran said.
The Thanksgiving Celebration was not only an opportunity to bring students together but also allowed Bush School students to build a connection between both SGA and PSO, who are relied on for representation in the Bush School. Overall, an event like this one goes on to reflects the strong sense of community that is present throughout the Bush School.
By Finley Blair