By Mallory Sherwood, Staff Writer
For 200 freshman women in Gardner Hall, it all came down to their gobble-and they should start practicing.
On Thursday, Gardner Hall residents participated in a gobbling contest as one of the activities during a special Thanksgiving meal given by Gardner staff in appreciation of the women. The meal, catered by ARAMARK for two meal plans, was in the Hilton Room in the Campus Center at 5:30 p.m.
“The RAs [resident assistants] have been thinking of ideas of activities to do and thought a gobbling contest would be fun,” said Pam Carroll, assistant director in Gardner Hall and senior composite interdisciplinary major from Hampton, Va. “They’ll probably see who is the loudest or who sounds most like a turkey; it should be really fun.”
Although this is not the first year a Thanksgiving meal has been offered to Gardner residents, this is the first time the dinner will celebrate more than the holidays.
The meal is being provided because the staff wants to thank the residents, Carroll said, and she thinks the dinner will be great.
ARAMARK, the university’s food service company, will provide a traditional Thanksgiving meal, including smoked turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, green beans, candied yams, rolls and fresh fruit salad, as well as pumpkin and pecan pie.
This meal is expected to be a time of fellowship, Carroll said.
“We did it this year to really thank the residents just because we love serving and working with them so much,” Carroll said. “It is a time to be thankful together. We are grateful for our jobs, and it is truly a privilege to work here.”
Last year, more than 200 women went to the west lobby, grabbed their food and ate in their rooms, Carroll said. This year, the women have been invited to eat together and to fellowship with one another as a family.
“We think of this place as a ministry, and within a ministry, we are a family,” Carroll said. “This is our way of sharing with our girls our love for them.”
Jessica Vaughn, freshman nursing major from Earth and Gardner resident, said she is going to continue meeting people in her hall even as the semester comes to a close.
“I’m attending this meal so I can meet other girls that I haven’t yet,” Vaughn said. “I’m so thankful for the girls I have already met, and I would like to have a meal with all of us there. I think it will bring unity in Gardner.”
She said Thursday should be a time of thankfulness for the women as well as the staff.
“There are a lot of things that I’m thankful for,” Vaughn said. “I’m thankful God gave me the parents he did, that he gave us his son, and I am very grateful that I was allowed to come here and meet all these people.”