BY KASEY CHEN
Staff Writer, UAS Whalesong
As November wrapped up at UAS, the campus joined together once again for the annual Community Thanksgiving event held in the Lakeside Grill. Tables adorned with autumn colors and leafy centerpieces were crowded with students, staff, and community members ready to join in the feast. Entry required guests to bring one canned food item for donation.
The menu featured a classic spread, including most Thanksgiving favorites such as cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and of course, turkey. However, a few menu items were a new addition to the list this year. A full meal of Vegan options was offered for the first time in the event’s history. As promised in the event announcement, a Seitan roast with walnuts, dried cranberries, and mushrooms was dished up alongside vegan gravy and stuffing. As soon as the end of dinner neared, pie was available for dessert.
Behind the food counter, student and faculty volunteers served the plates, and washed dishes. Members from many different UAS organizations chipped in their time and effort to make the event possible.
As always, the dinner served as a gathering place for students to celebrate the holiday with friends, an especially important opportunity for those who were away from home.
The evening concluded with a lantern lighting ceremony, as it has in previous years. Those attending were invited to group up and grab a paper lantern. One member of the group held the top of the lantern up while propane-torch wielding volunteers lit them up. As the lanterns filled with hot air, awaiting their ascent, students were urged to think about their hopes for the coming year.
Everyone huddled around to set off one final lantern at the end of the ceremony. Each member of the circle touched the lantern; even if barely with one finger. The group let go in unison allowing the lantern to join the rest of the lights in the sky before saying their goodbyes, marking the end of the night.