By Claudia Hardy | Staff Writer
As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, Duquesne is suiting up to blanket the campus in all things red, green and festive. What better way to celebrate the holiday season than to bring out the fresh-cut trees, wreaths and multi-colored lights?
Coleman Griffin, manager of sustainability, grounds and motor pool in the Department of Facilities Management, explained that the kick-off for the Christmas season on campus is the “Night of Lights,” which is hosted by the Student Government Association.
Carly Koza, the SGA’s executive vice president of student life and this year’s chair of “Night of Lights,” has been planning the event for months now. This year’s theme for the event is “Christmastime in the City.” Koza’s planning allowed not only the student body to take something away from this event but also those who struggle with Alzheimer’s each day.
“This year’s proceeds will go to the Alzheimer’s Association Greater PA chapter,” Koza said. “We will reach out to local businesses for raffle baskets and other donations for our raffle and silent auction at the event.”
Students are encouraged to get involved with the event. Various student leaders of organizations on campus will be sponsoring tables at “Santa’s Workshop,” a section where there are children’s crafts and activities. Students can also bring canned goods and other food items in collection boxes that will be scattered in various locations across campus.
Preparing for the “Night of Lights” can be a big task, and it takes some serious planning and work to pull together. Many staff members help contribute to the university’s decorating celebration, but the students are in charge of the entire process.
“The main common areas, such as Academic Walk and the Perron, and building entrances around campus that are decorated, are done so by Facilities Management at the direction of SGA,” Griffin said. “Many other offices and organizations decorate their own areas.”
Throughout the year, decorations are tucked away in various places. The majority of common area decorations are stored in facility closets, and the rest are held in various other places on campus.
Decorating spreads lighthearted cheer all around the Bluff, but Griffin said that it is important to understand the primary reason for celebrating in the first place.
“As a Catholic institution, one of the many ways we celebrate Christmas and the birth of Christ is by putting up holiday decorations throughout the campus, a time-honored tradition,” Griffin said.
Students said that “Night of Lights” is one of the most special times of the fall semester.
“I love seeing the Christmas lights and decorations up around campus,” sophomore Natalie Raymond said. “It makes me so excited to go home for the holidays.”
Some students find decorations to create a more relaxed and optimistic environment during the last few weeks of the semester.
“[Decorating] makes the campus much more fun and festive, something that is much needed during finals week. I think they should stay up all year,” sophomore Rachel Ralph said.
Campus decorations begin to go up this week, so whether students are back at home or relaxing in their dorm rooms during this upcoming Thanksgiving break, all will come back to a lit-up and festive campus. And, best of all, the decorations will stay through New Year’s.