Boston University Student Government and the Overarching Executive Council of the Residence Hall Association passed an initiativeMonday that will help international students find a place to stay over the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.
OEC President Janina Sawyer said the Thanksgiving Homestay Program would arrange for students, both domestic and international, to experience the American tradition of Thanksgiving with local families from New England and the surrounding areas.
“We understand that it [housing] is a really big concern for international students and domestic students who live far away and aren’t able to go home for these relatively short holiday breaks,” Sawyer, a School of Management senior, said.
The SG Department of Social Affairs has offered their support for the program, and will work with RHA to make sure international students have better options for housing during the holiday season, said Director of Social Affairs Rebekah Leopold.
“It will benefit not only the international students, but also the host families, just in the way that cross-cultural connection can benefit anyone,” Leopold, a College of Arts and Sciences sophomore, said. “It is not just so international students can learn about American culture — it’s that cultural exchange in general that I think is so wonderful and can benefit everyone.”
SG will also be holding a contest for students to enter to win one of six plane tickets to a U.S. location of the their choosing. Applications will be available on the SG website Wednesday morning for students interested in entering the contest, said Student Body President Dexter McCoy, a College of Communication senior.
In order to be considered, students must include in their application where they want to go, why they want to go there and what they will be doing there, said SG Executive Vice President Richa Kaul, a College of Arts and Sciences sophomore.
“We are all college students, and that does mean being on a budget,” Kaul said. “But there are so many opportunities going on around this country … We want to make that opportunity available, not on the burden of the student but rather through Student Government.”
SG officials also announced Monday that SG will be sponsoring a school-wide talent show on Nov. 9 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the Sargent Activity Center Gym, said SG Senior Associate Director of Outreach Brianna West.
The talent show, called “Red, White and BU,” will take place on the weekend before the mayoral election and will provide students with an opportunity to showcase their talents, while inspiring a sense of school spirit in the BU community, she said.
“We have so many talented Terriers on campus, and it would really just be a great opportunity for them to share what they do with everyone else,” West, a Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences senior, said. “It’s really important to share your culture and skills with your friends, and to [share it with] people who haven’t been exposed to things like that before.”
SG’s Department of Outreach contacted talented vocal performance, comedy and dance groups to perform at the talent show, West said. Performers will include The Edge Dance Company and a cappella group Chordially Yours.
“We look to have this every year, so there will definitely be future possibilities for other students to perform,” West said.
Aside from showcasing student talent groups, the talent show will also provide an opportunity for SG officials to engage students, she said.
Senate Chair Avi Levy, a CAS junior, said he hopes the talent show will encourage school spirit among students.
“Coming from the South, college pride is a huge thing,” he said. “… You really feel like everyone is a cohesive, strong student body. So, I think that events like Red, White, and BU are a great way for us to experience that type of environment.”