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UTA brings community together at the dinner table: Connection Café Thanksgiving dinner

UTA brings community together at the dinner table: Connection Café Thanksgiving dinner

Students glide by the Connection Café on Oct. 17 in the University Center.

The Division of Student Affairs and Maverick Dining is hosting a campuswide Thanksgiving dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday in Connection Café.

Megan Hein, Maverick Dining marketing manager, said the annual event helps expand the community from faculty, staff and students to their families and friends.

Students on a meal plan will be able to attend for free, according to the event calendar. Students without one can purchase tickets for $7. Faculty, staff and guests can buy tickets for $10.

The dinner began as a potluck the Office of International Education organized for international and study-abroad students to introduce them to the American tradition. Now, it’s open to the whole community.

The menu includes a salad, grazing bar, entrees and dessert, Hein said. One of the main highlights is the kitchen island, which will serve as a grazing table. Other options are citrus and sage turkey and rosemary-garlic stuffed pork loin.

There are also various sides like candied yams, mashed potatoes, stuffing and squash ravioli, which was popular last year, she said. For dessert, a variety of pies will be available.

Student Affairs and Dining Services are expecting about 500 to 600 students, Hein said. The staff began prepping the turkeys for the event Thursday.

Last year, the decor consisted of a wall for students and guests to express what they were thankful for, she said. It will return this year.

This year organizers are working on getting table decor for it to resemble a Thanksgiving meal that one would see at their family's house, Hein said. They are also trying to incorporate different community-building activities like board games.

“If you're a student, [and] you have a friend that might not eat in the dining hall that often, it's a great opportunity to bring them and build that community here,” she said. “Just expose them to different foods, and maybe encourage them to try something new and see what Connection Café is.”


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