Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Students reflect about staying in Pittsburgh during Thanksgiving break

If Amanda Sun wanted to go home over break, she would have to pay anywhere from $1000 to $3000 for a 21 hour flight both ways from Pittsburgh to Shanghai, China.


For Sun, a sophomore musical theater major, it’s “impossible” for her to go home for a short amount of time like Thanksgiving break. Finals are also in a few weeks, and the travel would take away time she needs to study.


Her roommate Drew Dela Llana is also a sophomore musical theater major. She stayed on campus for a similar reason over break. She has a holiday job at PPG Paints Arena and wanted to make extra money, but her family also lives in California so traveling to the other side of the country was not a possibility.


“It’s kind of annoying,” Dela Llana said. “The people who are at home for break– if we want to use any of the facilities, practice rooms or rehearsal rooms we can’t do it because they’re closed.” 


Vice President of Student Affairs Keith Paylo said that the residential halls remain open over break, but the University is closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.


“Because of the limited number of students on campus and with the university being closed, desk attendants are also not working at this time,” Paylo said. “This has not changed from previous years. All doors remain locked and can only be accessed with ID permissions.”


Both students live in Pioneer Hall, an off campus building across from Village Park that used to be master leased to Point Park. It has since been managed independently. 


“Even the security guard at Lawrence is not there,” Sun said.


On her way to work every day, Dela Llana walks by campus. Over break, the only Point Park people she saw around campus were students who waited outside of Boulevard for DoorDash orders.


The dining hall was closed over break along with “the student center, library, classrooms, etc.,” Paylo said.


According to a Campus Announcement, residential students staying on campus over break or students who were facing food insecurity had the opportunity to apply for a customized “Thanksgiving Meal Kit” depending on the student’s dinner preference and access to an oven. 


“New this year we are also offering ‘Break Boxes’ for students who may be staying on campus during Thanksgiving or Christmas Break and won’t have easy access to food while the dining halls are closed,” the email said.


During a joint interview, the two girls sat making gingerbread houses together. Dela Llana said that her and Sun went out early for Thanksgiving brunch at Fogo de Chao. Dela Llana reflected on her experience finding food last year over break as a residential student.


“I remember that from last year I had to go to like Chipotle or any other restaurant downtown and eat,” Dela Llana said. “If you don’t have a kitchen, good luck.” 


Although all other staff and faculty were not working over the holiday, Paylo said that both he and Dean Gieske are on call 24/7/365.


“Residence Life has an Administrator in Duty (AOD) working throughout the holiday,” Paylo said. “This AOD is available 24 hours as they are during the normal operations of the university. Public Safety is also working over the holidays and is available 24 hours a day.”

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