Fall festivities found their way onto campus while red, brown, and orange leaves blanketed the streets, whirled around by gusts of wind. Before students travel back home for Thanksgiving, Freshman Senate geared up for a celebration of a successful semester. 

The aptly named “Fall Flock with the Mocs” was the culmination of semester-long deliberations and the coordination of multiple committees. On Friday, Nov. 16 students enjoyed events which ranged from a pie-eating contest, faculty vs. student dodgeball, and even a turkey train! 

This event signaled the parting of the past couple unprecedented years—a sentiment many crave. The Freshman Senate President, Mitaire Arhagba, explains their objective.

“The intended goal of the event is to revive the spirit of unity and recreation,” President Arhagba explained. “We are working to lead the way back to a sense of normalcy.”

The “Turkey Train,” event did not consist of any live turkeys, but Mocs watched as students passed down ready to cook turkeys through the UC to Vine Street, where they’ll be shipped to families in need. 

That committee spent donations received earlier this week, totaling over $420, surpassing 2018’s sum of $250, to supply families in need with their own turkeys this Thanksgiving. While Turkey Train is a Freshman Senate Thanksgiving tradition, Chairperson Savannah Copley described why it’s vital to the greater Chattanoogan community.

“One goal in supporting those in need is helping them to feel normal,” Copley said. “Imagine coming home, knowing everyone else is eating turkey on Thanksgiving, so you feel left out you can’t participate as well.”

Meanwhile, athletes found a place on the field during the riveting dodgeball game. Students and faculty alike competed against one another and took time to joke and laugh with the other teams. More akin to a family backyard game than a tournament, the event gave many a reprieve from the ever-so in one’s face deadlines with dodgeballs to the chest. Both the Athletics and Student Academic Affairs and Success Committees teamed up to arrange over twenty professors, support staff, and other faculty to pitch head-to-head against students in the spirit of unity.

Senator Chamyra Teasly hopes “[that it will] establish communication and relationship between our faculty and students or just an overall experience at an event in general.” 

Most people love a good “stuffing!” Whether students missed toasting marshmallows over the fire, or maybe their grandparent’s homemade apple pie, the Social Issues, Equity, and Diversity Committee (SIED) had it covered. 

Smushing together melted chocolate, toasted marshmallows, and graham crackers appealed to dozens of Mocs throughout the night as they relived the good ole’ days. In addition, students crammed pie in their mouths—with all the same intensity of cramming for a final—as they competed in the pie eating contests on Chamberlain Pavilion. Sparing no expense, SIED purchased Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Lemon, and Pumpkin pies for the event. 

Mocs needed to flock there quickly though, as the sweets were gobbled up in no time, but SIED didn’t solely set out to sweeten the evening, as Committee Chairperson Bahar Folad clarified.

“In order to bring more fall spirit to the event,” Chairperson Folad explained, “we decided to bring the Turkey Train and dodgeball events with fun pie eating, smores, and cute fall-themed photography.”

Given the wide range of activities, the day gave hundreds of Mocs another autumn day they can be grateful for.

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