By: Saunta Anderson
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and for the first time, students are invited to help decorate Xavier’s campus for the holiday season.
The Xavier community, including students, staff and faculty, are encouraged to attend “Light the Campus,” presented by the Office of the Provost and Student Government Association (SGA).
The decorating event will begin at 3:30 p.m. this Thursday on the Xavier Yard.
Afterwards, there will be a lighting ceremony at 5 p.m. outside Bellarmine Chapel.
After hearing rumors concerning the possibility of Xavier not decorating the campus for the holidays, some students expressed their disappointment.
“Not only do (the lights) look nice, but they also help people get through the holidays away from their families,” SGA President Drew Dziedzic said.
Many are excited that the holiday decorating of campus is opened to the community this year.
Provost and Chief Academic Officer Scott Chadwick suggested starting this new tradition and involving the students “as a way to build community and come together in celebration.”
“I think it would be great to start an annual tradition of celebrating this blessed time of year together in ways that we have not in the past,” Chadwick said.
In the past, Physical Plant decorated the campus for the holiday season.
However, the budget reduction process last year decreased Physical Plant’s ability to completely manage the project. Physical Plant is still directing the lighting, but the decorating process will be more community-based.
“It speaks better to the whole story of Christmas,” Robert Sheeran, vice president for facilities, said.
Previously, lamp poles throughout campus have been wrapped in lights, but this year there is more emphasis on lighting the landscape of campus, including the crab apple tree in front of the Gallagher Student Center.
Everyone in the Xavier community is welcome to decorate the campus.
“If you come out, we will find something for you to decorate,” Dziedzic said.
The holiday lights hung throughout campus bring the comfort of home for many students right before the end of the fall semester.
“I think students should come out and help to give back to their fellow students,” Dziedzic said.
Besides introducing a new tradition, the older tradition of the tree-lighting ceremony during a Xavier Christmas will still occur December 3. Along with many other activities, children from local elementary schools will participate in the special lighting ceremony of the blue spruce tree on the Xavier Yard dedicated to Sally Watson, Xavier’s former assistant to the vice president for student development and the director of orientation.
Students can sign up to attend the “Light the Campus” event on OrgSync. For more information about the event, direct your questions to Molly Dugan at email@example.com or Dziedzic at firstname.lastname@example.org.