What students are thankful for on campus


Graphic by Maliah White

With Thanksgiving break only a week away, we asked students what they were thankful for on campus.

Tegan Ruhl, Assistant Lifestyle Editor

In the past year and a half of my time at USI, I’ve come to realize how much of a hidden gem this campus is. Not only have I been given so many educational opportunities that have helped me advance my skills, but I’ve also found the campus is just a wonderful place to be. From the pretty landscaping to the amazing students and faculty I’ve met here, I couldn’t be more thankful that I chose USI as my university.

I believe there’s always something everyone can be thankful for in their lives, and there’s certainly plenty to be thankful for on campus. With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching, what are students thankful for on campus? 


Akane Horide, senior anthropology major. (Photo by Tegan Ruhl)

“Faculty. They are very nice and understanding for international students,” said Akane Horide, senior anthropology major. “I’m also thankful for the Center for International Programs, which is where I work. We put on a lot of programs that promote diversity across campus. So, I appreciate that.”



Ryan VanBuskirk, junior political science and German major. (Photo by Tegan Ruhl)

“I’m thankful for the fact that the university seems to have listened to the students last semester and is trying to open new dining options after we only had a few on campus,” said Ryan VanBuskirk, junior political science and German major. Since last semester, campus has added dining options such as Mr. Beast Burger and Mein Bowl. 



Caleb Cunningham, senior psychology major. (Photo by Tegan Ruhl)

Caleb Cunningham, senior psychology major, said he is thankful for the Honors Lounge. “I go in there all the time and print and do homework. It’s a nice, relaxing place,” he said. The Honors Lounge is open to all honors students and includes free printing and occasional goodies. It is a great spot to stop for lunch or study. 


Madison Martens, junior elementary and special education major. (Photo by Sydney Lawson)

Madison Martens, junior elementary and special education major, expressed her thankfulness for her mom. “We have gotten really close this past year. I’m just really thankful for her setting a good example of a person I want to be like,” she said. Martens said she is also thankful for Greek Life. “I’m thankful for the connections I have made, that it has made me get out of my comfort zone,” she said. 


Adrianna Garcia, junior political science and philosophy major. (Photo by Tegan Ruhl)

Adrianna Garcia, junior political science and philosophy major, gave thanks to the dining staff on campus. “I’m thankful for Selah at Red Mango. She knows my order. She’s so cute.” Red Mango is the go-to spot on campus for frozen yogurt and protein shakes. The restaurant also offers other food, such as pastries, snacks, soda and sandwiches. 


Emilee Adams, senior biology major. (Photo by Tegan Ruhl)


Emilee Adams, senior biology major, said “I’m thankful for Donna.” Donna is an employee at the campus Starbucks. She always works hard to put a smile on students’ faces, lifting their spirits whenever she is behind the counter. 



Nathan Ruppel, freshman English major. (Photo by Sydney Lawson)


Nathan Ruppel, freshman English major, said he is thankful for the time he gets to spend with his family outside of school. “We love to watch movies and TV shows. We get very competitive when it comes to board games,” he said. Ruppel said he is also thankful for all his professors and his coworkers in the library.


Paris Fithian, senior illustration major. (Photo by Sydney Lawson)


Paris Fithian, senior illustration major, said she is thankful for her health, professors and coworkers on campus. “I’m thankful for Nancy Raen-Mendez. She has really helped me improve my painting skills. She prioritizes having a good environment in the classroom to talk about art and improve everyone’s work,” she said. 


Brooke Thomason, junior psychology major. (Photo by Sydney Lawson)

“I am thankful for my friends in my sorority, specifically Alpha Sigma Alpha, but all my friends are awesome,” said Brooke Thomason, junior psychology major. Thomason has been a part of ASA since her freshman year. Thomason said she is thankful she gets to have a sisterhood that spends time together playing Just Dance and having movie nights.