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Ohio Union offers Thanksgiving dinner for Ohio State students, staff

Lantern file photo

Students staying on campus during Thanksgiving break won’t miss out on all the good food.
Ohio State is scheduled to host one of the largest university Thanksgiving dinners in the country for about 2,000 students, faculty and staff at the Ohio Union Thursday.
The meal will be a traditional Thanksgiving feast of turkey, sweet potatoes, corn, beans and greens said Lawrence Williamson, director of the Hale Black Cultural Center, who started the Thanksgiving dinner tradition at OSU 21 years ago.
Thanksgiving dinner will be offered two times on Thursday for people who get tickets ahead of time. Seating begins at noon and 2:15 p.m.
Williamson said most who attend are international students, unable to return home for such a short break. He said he thinks the dinner promotes a sense of community and extended family within the university.
Nilav Ranpara, a fourth-year in industrial and systems engineering, said he usually goes to a roommate’s house for Thanksgiving but will attend the dinner for the first time this year.
“I got an email from the Office of International Affairs,” Ranpara said. “Thanksgiving is great. I love the food. I am a vegetarian so I don’t eat turkey, but the desserts are fabulous.”
There are other dining options for students who stay on campus during long breaks, but with interrupted operations.
The campus dining halls are open until Nov. 21 in the afternoon and re-open Nov. 23 for dinner.
Over Thanksgiving, to-go meals are offered in a number of places, said Dave Isaacs, a Student Life spokesman. These provide meals for Wednesday dinner through Friday breakfast.
The university has studied the demand of dining services when class isn’t in session, and Isaacs said the demand is too low to justify them staying open.
The Thanksgiving dinner at the Ohio Union is sponsored by Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Office of International Affairs, University Residences and Dining Services and The Ohio State University Alumni Association.

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