Friendsgiving at the Zorn Dining Commons is going to look different this year; however, students said it was still worth going to.
Friendsgiving is an annual event at Keene State that brings the students of Keene State together through a grand Thanksgiving feast on campus. Friendsgiving took place with certain precautionary measures to ensure it ran smoothly and efficiently.
Dietary restrictions and social distancing were also kept in the mind during the event.
Executive Chef at the Zorn Dining Commons Troy Bellot had high hopes that the event would run smoothly and efficiently. He said, “Our expectations are as great as they are in any year, but with all the challenges students have faced this semester, the staff is really excited to present a fun and memorable experience for this year’s Friendsgiving.”
Bellot noted that the event also took some vigilance because they wanted it to go as good as possible.
“We will rely on the protocols we currently have in place, along with gentle reminders to our guests who sometimes accidentally sway outside the guidelines of mask wearing and being socially distant,” said Bellot.
Bellot also recognized that there were people attending the event who might not be able to eat the main course due to dietary restrictions. He said, “Along with the ‘holiday favorites we will have a lot of vegan and vegetarian options along with many items being mindfully prepared avoiding gluten.”
Bellot knew the event wouldn’t be the same, but said that it doesn’t mean it can’t be better. He said, “The biggest difference in how we execute the event will be with the additional PPE now in place at all the serving stations and, of course, food being served to you as opposed to a buffet.”
Sophomore Aidan Macdougall said he enjoyed Friendsgiving at the dining commons.
“I didn’t actually get to attend Friendsgiving last year. With that said, everything from the good food to being able to sit down with my friends is something I can’t complain about,” said Macdougall.
Mcdougall also noted that the turkey dinner wasn’t the only thing on the dining commons staffs’ minds. He said, “My friend is actually vegetarian so he wasn’t able to eat the turkey dinner. He was able to get a perfectly fine vegetarian meal.”
Fellow Sophomore Billy Pruett [who is a member of The Equinox staff] had nothing but good things to say about the event. He said, “The event ran as smoothly as you could have hoped; with COVID restrictions I knew it was gonna be different, but I left a happy man.”
Pruett also noted the food was as good, if not better, than last year. He said, “I believe it was a thyme and rosemary turkey dinner and I had no complaints. The turkey wasn’t dry, the food was seasoned properly.”
Pruett wrapped up with realizing the dining hall did everything they could given the circumstances.
“Obviously this year we had to have the social distancing aspect, no self serve. I still got to have a Thanksgiving meal with my friends, something I didn’t think was possible during a pandemic.”
William Dey can be contacted at: