People join together around a table of food to celebrate Thanksgiving. Black Residents in United Housing is hosting Soulsgiving on Nov. 23 for SF State students who can’t make it home for the holiday. (Illustration by Jenna Mandarano / Golden Gate Xpress) (Jenna Mandarano)
People join together around a table of food to celebrate Thanksgiving. Black Residents in United Housing is hosting Soulsgiving on Nov. 23 for SF State students who can’t make it home for the holiday. (Illustration by Jenna Mandarano / Golden Gate Xpress)

Jenna Mandarano

Black Residents United in Housing’s Soulsgiving provides a safe space for students who remain on-campus for the holidays

Soulsgiving will serve dinner and bring the holiday spirit to campus.

November 17, 2022

Thanksgiving break can be a period of rest and relaxation for students before the last hectic weeks of the fall semester. Many students travel home to spend the holiday with friends and family but this is not the case for all. 

Some students have to stay on campus to work, some may not have a home to return to and others are foreign exchange students that cannot afford to travel. 

During the break, SF State’s dining hall for students living on campus, City Eats will be closed from Nov. 18 through Nov. 27, leaving students without their main source of food.

In an effort to provide a food resource to students who remain on-campus, SF State’s Black Residents United in Housing will host Soulsgiving on Nov. 23. The gathering will offer students dinner as well as a place to play games and watch movies. 

SF State senior and BRUH President Ibory Moore believes students deserve access to on-campus resources during breaks.

“I find it very odd that us as students pay so much money for food swipes, but during Thanksgiving break the campus shuts down leaving students who stay here without food for a week,” Moore said. 

Moore’s organization created Soulsgiving to meet student needs as they may face food insecurity while attending college. 

“We have foreign exchange students, Guardian Scholars Program students, foster care students and everyday students who can’t go home for whatever reason,” Moore said. “Soulsgiving is a place where students know they’ll get warm food and won’t be feeling like they’re stuck here for the holidays.” 

Staying on campus for the holiday not only makes it difficult for students to find places to eat but can also feel isolating. 

Desiree Robinson, a sophomore and treasurer of BRUH, is one of many students who is not traveling home for the break and will have to find ways to dine on campus without a meal plan. 

“It’s hard to navigate because our school doesn’t give us a lot of information on the resources we have,” Robinson said. “You get used to the Target or the Whole Foods, which are expensive options. There aren’t a lot of affordable options around us and that’s why I think Soulsgiving is so important. It provides a place where students like me can connect with others and have a meal during the holiday.” 

Sophomore and BRUH Secretary Ivan Cruz said finding your group of people is hard as a first year, but their organization wants to aid students and build a sense of community. 

“I think Soulsgiving not only gives the basic necessities to live that the school doesn’t provide during break, but it also provides a community where you can feel welcomed and the warmth that some students can’t have due to being stuck here,” Cruz said. 

Soulsgiving is now recognized as an annual historical event through SF State’s Associated Students Program. This year’s gathering will take place on Nov. 23 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Cesar Chavez Student Center.

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About the Contributors
Photo of Alexis Alexander
Alexis Alexander, Diversity Editor
Alexis Alexander (she/her) is the Diversity Editor for Golden Gate Xpress. She is a senior at SF State, majoring in journalism with a minor in race and resistance studies. She lives in San Francisco but grew up in Monrovia, California. Alexis enjoys writing about social and cultural issues. When she has a moment to herself she enjoys live music, matcha with oat milk and long walks in the city. After graduation she hopes to write or edit for a cultural news source or magazine like Rolling Stone.
Photo of Jenna Mandarano
Jenna Mandarano, Campus Editor
Jenna Mandarano (she/her) is this semester's campus editor for Golden Gate Xpress, where she previously was a staff reporter. She is a fourth-year journalism major and business administration minor who anticipates graduating this coming May. The Bay Area is where she was born and raised, and she has no plans on leaving anytime soon. Aside from being a journalist, she loves going to concerts, watching professional sports and expanding her constantly growing Lego collection that she is also struggling to find space for.

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