More welcomes could be here


Callie Burgan

For international students, the typical Christmas hype may seem confusing or just plain bizarre.

At the Galleria mall, there are festive decorations, people scurrying to purchase gifts and children in line to see Santa Claus.

There is more to the holiday season, though—a warmth and love that can be found in most area homes.

Although some international students may be far away from their loved ones over the holiday breaks, they should have an opportunity to experience the warmth up close.

We think that someone needs to take a lead position in coordinating meals with Johnstown-area families for students who are stuck on campus during Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks.

Currently, the cafeterias are closed during holiday breaks.

International students can choose to cook at a Foxfire Lodge kitchen, if it’s open.

We believe more can be done to include them in seasonal festivities.

Transportation may have to be provided to these students, and they would have to be paired with families who are willing to feed them.

While we recognize that this coordination would take a lot of work and responsibility, we think it would be worth the effort in the long run, both for the students and the families who host them.

In addition, it would improve ties we have with the off-campus community, and perhaps make the students, even for a short time, feel more welcome here.

For these students, an annual program may lead to personal connections and meaningful memories, and residents could get a helping of Pitt-Johnstown at their dinner tables.