On Sunday Nov. 13, Geneseo students gathered together in the College Union Ballroom to share a vegan Thanksgiving dinner sponsored by Gamma Chi Epsilon and Campus Auxiliary Services. All money raised by ticket sales for the event was donated to the National Endowment for the Arts, a government agency that has awarded over $4 billion to art programs throughout the nation in the past 45 years.
Guests arrived in the CU Ballroom to find it decorated with fall colors, complete with turkey centerpieces on each table. Experienced vegans and visibly-anxious omnivores alike lined up at the buffet as the vegan-friendly dinner was served. All were pleasantly surprised by the CAS prepared dinner, which included all the usual Thanksgiving fare, vegan style: green beans, squash, stuffing, gravy, pumpkin pie and of course, Tofurkey – a meatless turkey replacement made from wheat protein and tofu.
"I appreciated the chance to eat food that did not involve murder while supporting the arts," said freshman vegetarian Lara Elmayan.
"We wanted to do a dinner outside of what people can normally get on campus," said the Gamma Chi Epsilon Events Coordinator junior Daniel Rus. Rus said that the organization chose The National Endowment for the Arts as the event's beneficiary to reflect the closing of Geneseo's art program and support art programs elsewhere.
To complement the charity of the event, Gamma Chi Epsilon created a line-up of performances featuring some of Geneseo's popular arts organizations. After everyone had had their fill of Tofurkey, campus improv group Currently Known As: kicked off the evening of programming with a string of improv skits. These included favorites from the hit show "Whose Line is it Anyway" such as when audience members were invited on stage to create a characters' actions by moving them around. By the end of its improv set, Currently Known As: had its audience roaring with laughter.
Next, a relatively new Geneseo band called Red Kettle calmed things down with a few intricate yet soothing songs, played by two guitarists and a bassist.
Finally, to conclude the night, the Geneseo Slam Poets stepped on stage. The audience members moved their chairs close and clapped, screamed and snapped for the hardworking and inventive performers. The poets gave emotional, creative performances which, like the rest of the evening, left guest's minds just as satisfied as their stomachs.