This past Sunday, from 6 to 8 p.m., Hope College’s multicultural student organizations (MSO) came together for the annual MSO Thanksgiving. The event was a collaborative effort, split between the Black Student Union (BSU), the Latino Student Organization (LSO), Hope’s Asian Perspective Association (HAPA) and the African Society. Each respective organization brought their own cultural dishes for a potluck style dinner. All of the different dishes and desserts were combined to create a feast for the attendees to enjoy.
They were not disappointed and enjoyed the food. Everything was first- come-first-served, so anyone who arrived late was surely setting themselves up for disappointment. Those who arrived on time ate well though, with roughly 20 different dishes to choose from. A slow trickle of students at the event’s onset turned into a hungry rush of people, as many people actually skipped out on Sunday dinner at Phelps, hoping to get a home-cooked meal that they just could not wait the extra few days for.
Extremely well-attended, the event took place in the program area of the Bultman Student Center. This was an interesting change of pace from Thanksgivings of years past, as the event has normally been held in the home of Hope professor Dr. John Yelding. “It was a great event,” said Kory Lafontant, a Hope sophomore. “I normally look forward to the BSU Thanksgiving [event] at Dr. Yelding’s house, so having it in Bultman with all the other MSOs this year was an unexpected change, but I think it worked out really well. The food was great, and it was cool to see community being fostered.”
The atmosphere in the room was friendly and warm, with the students of each organization intermingling and familiarizing themselves with the different dishes, many of which were from cultures different from their own. Even President Dennis Voskuil and his wife Betty paid the event a visit, conversing with students and taking the time to introduce themselves.
At student events such as this, it is always nice to see support from the faculty. Amari Brown, Vice- President of the BSU, spoke on the turnout of the event: “It was really cool to watch all these cultures collide in one big Thanksgiving. Each MSO got to bring their own flavor to the holiday and share their piece of the general culture,” she said. “We all got to bring our unique and distinctive identities and sit together in unity, which is an awesome atmosphere to be a part of.”
Overall, the event was deemed to be a success by virtually all in attendance. Despite the fact that the food might have gone slightly faster than some people may have wanted it to, attendees were able to enjoy some much needed time of fellowship. This event was just one example of the beauty of Hope’s growing diversity. We could all use a little bit more flavor in our lives, and this event seemed to satisfy that need, at least for the night.