by Philip Chui, LL. M.
On Wednesday, November 21, John J. DeGioia, Georgetown University President, invited all Georgetown students to partake in a Thanksgiving dinner that took place in the main campus dining commons.
Many students had already left for destinations all over the United States to join their families and celebrate the special occasion. For others, however, a cursory peek at their exam timetable put all these possibilities well and truly to rest. Fortunately, Georgetown University provided a back-up plan: its annual Thanksgiving dinner.
For those used to the tradition, it provided them with a much needed substitute to celebrating it at home . For those unfamiliar with the tradition it was a perfect time to take in the mood and personally experience this uniquely American tradition.
Held in the picturesque O’Donovan Hall, overlooking the Potomac River, the dinner took place between 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. On arrival, the salubrious surroundings were contrasted with a long sprawling line leading up to the food and refreshments. When walking in one was immediately greeted by a gentleman, suited and booted, standing at the door to welcome each and every one of the students in. As it turned out, it was the President of Georgetown University; and he stood there all through the night, greeting every one of the students as they filed in. It was a nice and appropriate gesture that most students appeared to appreciate as many of them asked to have their picture taken with him.
By 6 p.m, the entire hall was packed to the seams with two long queues leading to two identical Thanksgiving buffets. The food included traditional Thanksgiving dishes such as roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, yams, and of course, pumpkin pie. The room being packed there was little space left to be found and some students ended up eating on high top tables.
As the event came to an end, the pleasantness of the evening was momentarily interrupted as students stepped out to the cold autumn weather, waiting for the bus back to the Law Center. A female security guard and a taxi driver almost came to blows over the taxi driver’s alleged trespassing onto campus territory. The security guard chased after the taxi and whacked it repeatedly with a broomstick (to both the amusement and the horror of many); a full blown fight was only prevented when a number of students stepped forward and stopped the taxi driver from harming her.