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Dorm is home for the holiday

MELISSA HALTERMAN/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Second year pharmacy student Lindsey Chillion loads groceries into a Jeep to take to a donation center last night. Chillion is a member of Mortar Board senior honorary which, along with other honoraries across campus, raised $2,600 to feed Thanksgiving dinner to about 50 needy families in Tucson.
By Alexis Blue
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, November 26, 2003
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This holiday weekend, residence halls will be a little quieter and a lot emptier, as many dorm dwellers head out of town in pursuit of turkey, stuffing and quality family time.

But there are some students who will stay in their residence halls this weekend, and for many of them it will be their first Thanksgiving spent away from home.

Marlene Yafuso, an architecture freshman and resident of Villa del Puente, came to the UA this year from Hawaii.

Yafuso won't be making the long trip home for Thanksgiving, and this will be her first Thanksgiving away from her family.

"I'm sad. I wish I could go home," she said. "But it's too far away."

Yafuso said she'll miss the Hawaiian dishes that have always accompanied her holiday feast at home.

"I already miss all the food," she said.

Yafuso said she plans on going to a friend's house for Thanksgiving dinner.

Richard Chesney, a pre-architecture freshman from Grosse Point, Mich., will also dine with a friend on Thursday, and he plans to spend the rest of the weekend enjoying the peace and quiet of his residence hall.

Chesney said while he'd like to see his mom, dad and brother, he said a $500 plane ticket and an 11 hour flight home just for the weekend would only put a damper on his holiday spirit.

"If I went home, it would just be a continuation of stress," he said.

Chesney, who lives in Manzanita-Mohave Residence Hall, said he intends to spend the weekend relaxing, watching movies and catching up on schoolwork.

Robin Nelson, a media arts and fine arts freshman who lives in Yavapai Residence Hall, will also spend her first Thanksgiving away from home this year, but she'll still get to be with family.

Nelson said her parents plan to drive down to campus from Flagstaff to spend Thursday with her and her sister.

She said her family decided that a sunny Tucson Thanksgiving would be appealing.

"It's 30 degrees in the daytime in Flagstaff, so I don't mind being here," Nelson said.

For students who don't have friends or family in town, some residence halls on campus will host special dinners to ensure residents aren't having a Thanksgiving feast of Top Ramen and Easy Mac.

Coronado Residence Hall will have a 20-person dinner, hosted by hall government.

Debbie Kagy, a theatre arts sophomore and Coronado resident, said it feels strange to not be going home, but said she's looking forward to having a big gathering in her hall.

"I've never had any more than four people at a Thanksgiving dinner, so I'm really excited," she said.

Graham-Greenlee and Hopi Lodge will also host a Thursday afternoon meal complete with turkey, ham, pumpkin pie and "the works," said Liz Zavodsky, hall director for Graham-Greenlee and Hopi.

Zavodsky said she wanted to make sure residents who couldn't go home didn't have to spend Thanksgiving alone.

"We hope to build a sense of family for those who can't be with their families for whatever reason," she said.

Students who attend any of the residence hall dinners tomorrow might want to grab some leftovers because the Student Union Memorial Center will be closed until 4 p.m. on Sunday.

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