Freshman Thanksgiving offers free food and games

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Photo credit: Julie Ostler | Assistant Photo Editor | @jules1lo

The UV Mentor Program and UVUSA teamed up to host the first annual Freshman Thanksgiving Nov. 17 in the Grande Ballroom. The event offered free food, games and activities.

Students were welcomed to enjoy pizza and specialty sodas. A slew of carnival games lined the ballroom walls where students could play and win basic grocery items such as soup, ramen, pizza and pop tarts as prizes. A doughnut eating contest, henna tattoos, fortune telling and a photo booth were also a part of the festivities. UVU gear was raffled off throughout the night and a musical chairs tournament decided the winner of the night’s grand prize—a grocery cart full of food.

The purpose of Freshman Thanksgiving is to provide a social gathering for new students who are unable to go home for Thanksgiving. Although it is designed with new freshmen in mind, the event is open to all students.

UVU Mentor, Trevor Harding helped organize the event.

“We understand that a lot of freshman can’t go home for Thanksgiving so this is just a fun way for them to meet new people, hang out and win food,” Harding said. “We thought about what would be fun for the freshmen, so we figured carnival games because it’s more interactive—people can mingle. Obviously food to bring people here.”

Freshman roommates Monica Compton and Charity Johnson came out to enjoy the festivities.

“We hang out in the Wellness Center and The Zone so we take advantage of tasty Tuesday and everything like that,” said Johnson. “That’s how we found out about this. We like to know about school events.”

“We just wanted it to be a really social event and a way for our freshmen to meet,” explained Lauren Ashton, Special events chair for UVUSA. “They can meet their mentors, meet people from UVUSA and play games. At all the games they can win food so everyone’s going to walk home with a grocery bag full of food.

“There’s also a lot of UVU swag that we’re giving away. It’s just a way to introduce students to UVU and to each other,” Ashton said.

The mentor program initiated the collaboration with UVUSA to host the event, which helped UVUSA achieve one of its platforms, which is to collaborate with other groups on campus.