Tomorrow, the streets of Davis will be empty.
It’s that time of year again when first-years go home to dump their high school sweethearts and professors eagerly walk in public with the knowledge that they won’t have awkward run ins with their students.
But not all Aggies will be going home for turkey day.
Mitesh Patel, a Segundo Resident Advisor, is spending his Thanksgiving break in Davis working.
“[My family is] having a whole Thanksgiving dinner, but they’re coming down to visit me two times during break, so I’ll get the chance to see them,” Patel said.
Since Patel’s family lives nearby in the Sacramento area, he decided to volunteer for the holiday shift.
“I’ll probably be busy doing RA stuff,” said Patel, a sophomore psychology major. “Finals are in two weeks and with the RA job and everything, I haven’t had a lot of time. I’ll probably spend my free time studying.”
Though few students stay in Davis, on-campus dorms stay open over Thanksgiving break and RAs stay on call in case there is a problem.
“There are going to be a couple volunteers for the whole area of Segundo,” said sophomore biology major Joey Dietrich, who is going home for the weekend. “But this doesn’t mean residents can smoke pot and drink. It’s not an opportunity to stay and party in the dorms.”
But the RAs who stay do have some incentive: volunteers have their food paid for because the on-campus dining commons will be closed.
In addition, they are cut slack later in the year when RAs are asked to stay additional days to help out residents leaving late for winter and spring break.
Clare Callahan, a sophomore political science major, lives out of state and will be staying in Davis this year once again for Thanksgiving.
“I was kind of surprised by how hard it was to not go home last year. I was in the dorms, so nobody was there and it was really quiet and lonely,” she said.
Callahan said she passed the time with other people still in town by watching movies and making dinner together.
However, this year, Callahan is trying something different.
“I’m having a potluck at my house,” she said. “I’m inviting mostly people from the triathlon team and my pre-law fraternity. I really enjoy the idea of getting together with friends. I think it’s one of the best ways to spend [the break] if you’re away from your family.”
Robbie Hirsch, a Ph.D. philosophy candidate, has never been in Davis before for Thanksgiving.
“During the day I’m just going to get some work done, and that evening I’m having dinner with one of the professors in my department and a few of the other grad students,” Hirsch said. “My family wasn’t planning on doing anything for Thanksgiving anyway, so I figured I’d just stick around …”
For Dino Nicolosi, a visiting plant science Ph.D. student from Italy, the experience of Thanksgiving is entirely new.
“[This holiday] is very important here. I’m interested in the culture of the place that I go,” he said. “I was recommended by this family to stay here for Thanksgiving. To see how we celebrate because it’s something wonderful.”
Nicolosi said that other visiting students he knows are taking the opportunity to travel, though they have experienced a Davis Thanksgiving through various potlucks held this week.
“Everybody takes it as an occasion to stay in company. I am going to Los Angeles to visit with a family I stayed with last June,” he said.
For students without plans, there are still options for a Thanksgiving meal.
Redrum Burger, on Olive Drive, is open until 6 p.m. on Thursday. Additionally, Crepeville, on 3rd Street, is open until 2 p.m.
Even Safeway, which is usually open 24 hours, is closing at 6 p.m. on Thursday.
BECKY PETERSON can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.