Home Away From Home During the Holidays – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Home Away From Home During the Holidays

For students staying on campus during the Thanksgiving holiday break and as the community celebrates the holiday season in December, the Colleges will offer several opportunities to gather in community.

On Wednesday, Nov. 25, the Office of Intercultural Affairs invites students and members of the HWS community to join for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner from 1 to 3 p.m.  On Saturday, Nov. 28, students can enjoy take-out food while watching a movie and relaxing with friends at 7 p.m. During the break, the Office of Intercultural Affairs will be open from noon to 10 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 25 through Saturday, Nov. 28 and will provide free coffee, tea, hot chocolate, a comfortable environment, and a computer lab.

“The offices of Student Activities, International Student Affairs, Residential Education and Intercultural Affairs hope that by providing students with a communal space and a meal to share during Thanksgiving, they will feel that they are at a home away from home and that we at HWS are a community that embraces them,” says Director of the Office of Intercultural Affairs Alejandra Molina.

After students return from the break, the Abbe Center for Jewish Life also hopes to provide a “home away from home” each night during the eight days of Hanukkah, which begins on Sunday, Dec. 6 and ends on Monday, Dec. 14. The first event will be a Fried Food Fest on Dec. 6 where students can enjoy a Hanukkah candle lighting and fried food in honor of the holiday at 6:30 p.m. in the Abbe Center. A candle lighting and activity will be held each night at the Abbe Center throughout the holiday.

“Our nightly Hanukkah programs will provide students with a ‘home away from home’ where they can taste the familiar foods of the holiday, share family traditions, and build memories together as an HWS Jewish community,” says Julianne Miller, director of the Abbe Center and Hillel adviser. “We hope the events will also provide students with a break from studying during finals week – and the inspiration they need to get back to their work.”

On Saturday, Dec. 5, Sankofa will host its annual Kwanzaa event in the Vandervort Room from 6 to 8 p.m. This year’s event will focus on the theme of Ubuntu, an idea from the Southern African region which loosely translates as “I am because we are,” explains Ato Benti-Enchill ’17, a member of Sankofa. The event will include a sit-down dinner as well as poetry, singing, and dancing that represents different aspects of the African Diaspora.

“This Kwanzaa event is Sankofa’s annual celebration during the fall term to honor African heritage in African-American culture,” says Bentsi-Enchill. “We encourage and invite the whole HWS community to celebrate with us in the communal spirit of Ubuntu.” 

In the spirit of giving, the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning (CCESL) is asking for donations to support their annual Holiday Gift Project. Cash donations can be delivered to 203 Trinity Hall by Tuesday, Dec. 1, and gift donations to the same location by Thursday, Dec. 3. The donations benefit more than 80 of Geneva’s children who are in need of additional support this holiday season.

“We hope that the HWS community can get into the holiday spirit by helping local community members have a more joyful holiday season through their donations,” says Director of CCESL Katie Flowers. “Donating to the Holiday Gift Project is small gesture that leaves a big impact on the community, as we’ve seen in years past.”