Audrey Piacsek, Staff Writer
It’s almost that time of year again: fall break! A week without classes can be freeing if you’ve got plans lined up for how to spend it, but if you find yourself on campus without anything in particular to do, never fear— there are plenty of fun events and resources available both at Willamette and in the Salem community.
Dining halls on campus will have limited hours over break, so be prepared to feed yourself for the week. The last board meal at Goudy Commons will be dinner on Friday, Nov. 22, and the dining hall will be closed until dinner the following Sunday, Dec. 1. Kaneko Cafe will also be closed during the break. If you still have a craving for some Bon Appetit meals, Rick’s Cafe will be open Monday through Wednesday for breakfast and lunch.
While it might be frustrating to lose the easy access to meals that Bon Appetit usually provides, it can also be an opportunity to try new things. You can use the extra time without classes—and the lack of people crowding the kitchens and leaving their dirty plates in the sink— to try cooking for yourself. You can also take the opportunity to venture into town and try out some of Salem’s many restaurants: downtown Salem, only a few blocks away, boasts dozens of eateries from traditional restaurants like Wild Pear and Bo & Vine to fun, vegan-friendly options like Venti’s, as well as delicious desserts at Dolce Mama’s and the newly opened Bearscat Bakehouse.
For students who may not have the means to buy ingredients or eat out every night, the Bearcat Pantry will be open during break. Part of the Students Organizing for Access to Resources (SOAR) Center, the pantry is free to all students and is located on the third floor of the University Center. According to the Willamette website, the pantry offers “a selection of fruits and vegetables (fresh, frozen and canned), proteins, dairy, grains and some non-food items, such as cleaning supplies and various hygiene products.” A student ID is not necessary and all staff are trained to ensure complete privacy. Students will be asked for the last five digits of their ID number, which is used to help the SOAR center keep track of how many new students utilize the pantry and is not connected to the student’s name. The pantry will be open from 12-2 p.m. everyday during break except for Tuesday and Thursday, Nov. 26 and 28.
On Thursday at 1 p.m., a free Thanksgiving meal will be hosted in Cat Cavern for students of all three Willamette schools, catered by Roth’s Market. RSVP by Friday, Nov. 22 on the Office of Student Affairs website or by following the link in the daily bulletin.
A fun way to get off campus or out of your house and join the community on Thanksgiving day is to participate in a fun run. There are two happening in the area this year, one at 9 a.m. at Riverfront Park in Salem and one beginning at 8 a.m. at the Keizer Station Village in Keizer. Both are open to any level of runner, jogger or walker and the Salem run will have a separate free kids’ race at 8:45 a.m. The Salem Run’ucopia is $25 and participants can choose between a 5k, 10k or 15k run through Minto-Brown Island Park. The Keizer Turkey Dash 5k is $30 and is held annually as a fundraiser for various local nonprofit organizations. This year’s recipient is the McNary Contemporary Music Program, which offers music classes to local grade school kids. Sign up online for either run and check in an hour before the start time.
If you prefer quieter and less active break activities, head over to the Bush Barn Art Center in Bush Park, just a few blocks from campus past the hospital. Entry is always free. This month James Kirk, a well-known Oregon artist, is putting on the final watercolor and sketch exhibit of his career, appropriately titled “This is Absolutely, Positively the Very Last Art Show.”
Also on display is a graffiti art exhibition by Sandra Hernández-Lomelí, painted right onto the walls of the gallery. Born from a collaboration between the Salem Art Association (SAA) and Latinos Unidos Siempre (LUS), an advocacy group based in Salem, the exhibition “reflects the work of LUS to combat local and national systemic and social issues impacting people of color and youth,” according to the SAA website.
The Hallie Ford Museum of Art will also be open over break, except for Thursday, Nov. 28. They are currently featuring Custom Imperatives, a watercolor show by Salem artist Carol Hausser, a former art professor at Chemeketa Community College. Also on campus will be the Fall Dance Concert put on by student dancers and choreographers. The last shows will take place at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23. Details of both exhibitions can be found in the daily bulletin.
If you’re spending fall break in Salem this year, particularly if you live on campus, it might seem like there’s nothing to do but homework— but if you take the opportunity, the break can be a chance to get off campus, explore Salem and discover something new about the place where you live.