Soon it will be time, once again, to commence the annual feast before the Christmas season. Although Thanksgiving is often filled with merriment, there is also ample reason to worry about the political discussions that will inevitably occur amongst dinner guests. Leading a political life — and understanding the issues of the day — ought to be reserved for a time when food is not the central focus. Therefore, in the spirit of avoidance, here are ten subjects about the University of Utah that can be used to strategically pivot during your Thanksgiving dinner.
“Did you know that candles are not allowed in our university’s campus housing?”
But virtually everyone burns them, regardless. Might be an opportune time to pull out the Christmas wishlist and request that a few candles be added to the shopping lists during the upcoming holiday season.
“The U chose to start selling marijuana and alcohol on campus. Thoughts?”
Brigham Young University admittedly took a significant step forward this year when they unveiled a policy change that now allows for the sale and consumption of caffeinated beverages on campus. In response, the University of Utah chose to revise a few policies of its own. Full coverage — and proof — can be found here.
“ASUU opened filing deadlines—I think I will run for office.”
Although the filing deadline for presidential parties ended on November 17th, the deadline for legislative and judicial candidates is open until December 15th. Submit an application here, and you will surely outshine your siblings during dinner.
“Can anyone here tell me what a ‘Swoop’ is, and where I can find one in nature?”
A tricky, and perhaps even philosophical question that requires several minutes of deliberation. Utilize if the conversation keeps on steering towards Senator Al Franken or President Trump.
“The innovation spaces at Lassonde are transformative; they shift me to a different realm of creativity.”
Not really a question, so much as it is a factual statement. If this list is not extensive enough for your purposes, embark on a spiritual journey to Lassonde for free coffee and innovation galore.
“There is a cookie company that has cornered the market in the Marriott Library. They deliver cookies only late at night!”
One visit to Chip Cookies’ website reveals the greatest joy of all: late night cookies, delivered fresh and warm to students at the university for $10 a box. “Four big, warm, melt in your mouth, delicious Chip cookies. Delivered right to your door in SLC,” reads their online disclaimer. You may be stuffing yourself with pie and turkey that night, but just remember — finals are only a few weeks away, and the body metabolizes food quickly.
“The university sold out and signed a contract with PepsiCo instead of Coca-Cola. Intriguing, right?”
Sure to spark a fierce discussion amongst family members on either side of the issue. Perhaps this is not the greatest conversation diversion, but it fits the list. What was the U thinking?
“Brighton Ski Resort opened three runs just this week, alongside Snowbird and Park City.”
For those who love living in Utah, snow is undoubtedly the great unifier. Several resorts just minutes away are opening their lifts this week, which means it is time to pull out the rock skis and shred the 10 to 20 in. permafrost.
“You think your commute is bad? Try parking at the U.”
Granted, ASUU and Commuter Services are trying to alleviate the situation; nonetheless, there are some serious issues with parking that the U must address. Either way, this is a perfect opportunity to complain while avoiding unpleasant conversations.
If you truly cannot avoid a conversation about politics, after deploying all nine of these tactics, turn to the tenth as the final resort:
“So…how ‘bout our football season, amirite?”
(The second prompt is based on satirical evidence and should not be taken as fact)