How to spend Thanksgiving on campus

By Morgan Wahler | November 7, 2017 3:37pm

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If you happen to be staying in the area for Thanksgiving, don't forget to celebrate with the people around you! Create a cute Thanksgiving Day table to set the mood.
by Kayli Gribi / The Beacon

For many students, Thanksgiving is a time to go home and spend time with family. But according to the University of Portland’s institutional research data, 5.3% of undergraduate students at UP are international students and 8.5% are from Hawaii. These students might not always have the option to make the long journey home for Thanksgiving break. So what can students do when they stay on campus for Thanksgiving?

If you’re staying at UP for the holiday, try getting a group of friends together who are also not going home and make your own Thanksgiving (or friendsgiving). If you live off-campus, you can host a friendsgiving at your house. Tristan Martin, a sophomore from Guam, celebrated Thanksgiving last year on campus with friends and a potluck, held in Lund Family Hall’s kitchen. 

“There was a group of about 12 people from Guam and Hawaii,” Martin said. “We mostly cooked Asian style food.” 

Dorm kitchens are a great place to hold your own Thanksgiving. Remember to bring all the spices and ingredients you need for your meal. Some dorms even have cooking supplies like grills or barbecues, so ask your hall director if you can use those in advance. 


Friendsgiving is something fun you can do for your friends to show that you are thankful for them and celebrate the holiday together.
by Kayli Gribi / The Beacon


“We got stuff you could throw in a pot from Mack’s Market,” Martin said. “Some of us ran down to Fred Meyer’s and we barbecued meat.”

Some clubs even coordinate friendsgivings on campus, like the Guam club. Tyler Bautista, junior Guam Club Officer, helped organize a Guam-style barbecue on Thanksgiving last year. 

“We get together and enjoy food from back home, like red rice, barbecued ribs, chicken and steak,” Bautista said. “I end up doing a lot of cooking so everyone gets fed.”

Junior Guam club president Brandon Cruz also helped coordinate the club’s friendsgiving feast.

“There’s a Guam cultural element and also a family element to it,” Cruz said. “We make traditional dishes like kelaguen, which is like ceviche with chicken, and latiya, vanilla cake with cinnamon and vanilla, like something your grandma would make.”

Other options for Thanksgiving can be found in downtown Portland, too! The Oregon Zoo holds a Turkey Trot and these restaurants have reservations open for Thanksgiving dinner.

“There’s lots of stuff happening downtown,” Cruz said. “One year they had a Thanksgiving festival going on.”

And for those who don’t like to cook, The Commons will be open on Thanksgiving and will serve a traditional Thanksgiving meal as part of the lunch service — single priced, buffet style. Grab some friends and a table cloth and make the Commons your dining room!

“If you’re planning something, invite people you know will be stuck here, even if you aren’t close with them,” Martin said. “Plan something fun. Don’t be sad.”

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