- Emily Cowan
Christmas Tree Lighting
On Dec. 2, the Director of Student Activities, Stephan Foster and Graduate Assistant, Mary Stratton, with the assistance of the AMP students, second-year Student Government and the Brew Crew, held a Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. The event was held in the Palmieri Activities Center and started at 5 p.m.
The night was inspired by an event that Foster experienced at the college he attended for his undergraduate that he wanted to carry over to Mount St. Mary’s University “for a Christmas Dance as sort of a lead into it.” After consulting with the AMP students, they decided to give it its own day prior to the night of the dance. Foster heavily credited the night to Stratton saying she took the idea “and just expanded on it to what it is.”
The hope was that the event would get them excited about the holidays and “to give them the opportunity to come together as a university.” Stratton made the point that due to COVID there have not been as many opportunities for students to get together. It was also important to the two that the night got everyone ready for the Christmas Dance the following night.
The night was split into three segments. The first started at 5 p.m. and involved a Gingerbread House Making contest for groups of students to take part in. Following that at 6:15 p.m. there was hot cocoa, catered sandwiches, ornament making and even a beer garden for students who were 21 or older. Finally, the Tree Lighting Ceremony finished at 7:30 p.m.
Inside the PAC there were tables throughout the bottom level that held bowls full of blank ornaments. The room was decorated for the holidays with a Christmas tree and various shades of green and red. The tree was centered between the two garage doors of the PAC, which were closed for the night, and was only adorned with a star at its peak.
The ornaments were for the students to write their names, Christmas wishes or anything they wished and then they were able to hang them on the tree.
Rachel Perine (C’21) thought the event was an amazing time and was “a really great way for students to get their minds off of the stress of finals.” Her favorite part being the hot cocoa.
These other activities were done in addition to the Christmas Tree Lighting to “make it feel more like an event” rather than students coming down for less than 20 minutes seeing the Christmas tree lit and then leaving.
Stratton mentioned that she “loved working with other offices like the sophomore class officers who wanted to do an event and the Brew Crew,” who was doing their drinks for them. She thinks these events are a really great opportunity to show the teamwork and community aspect of the Mount.
Overall, the night was a hit, students had a great time mingling with one another to celebrate the holiday season and Foster and Stratton “are hoping that this first one [they] do will be pretty successful and [they] can do it next year in a similar fashion.”