“Twas The Lights Before Christmas” commemorates holiday season

Winston Anderson

Clarence T.C. Ching Hall decorated with the Christmas lights.

Annually at Chaminade University in the first week of December, the school commemorates the holiday season and ending of a semester by turning on the array of lights around campus.  This semester the event was finally given a name: “Twas The Lights Before Christmas.”

Roland
Roland Pendleton amongst the many students in the Loo student center.

Year after year, Campus Ministry, Student Support Services and OSAL have attempted to construct a more festive lighting and achieve a greater buzz. As of 2013, the lighting event has gotten a greater response than ever before.  An estimated 100 students, staff and other onlookers participated in this year’s lighting, a significant increase from last year.

“Last year it wasn’t a big event, it just seems like maybe 10 people showed up,” said Danny O’Regan, a London native who came to Chaminade 2 years ago to become the director for Campus Ministry.

“This year we wanted to do a little bit more. So in a sense, this is the first time it’s ever been this big. We want the students to get engaged in the lighting because it’s a big thing. I think the reception has been good today, but hopefully it’s the start of something bigger. I’d say there was maybe one hundred participants today. Hopefully we can progress.”

Last Monday, Dec. 2, Chaminade University had a multitude of events held for the lighting event. The first half was a service dedicated to blessing the gifts that various groups and clubs on campus for Christmas On Campus, and overall blessing of students to do well on tests in the upcoming finals week. The mass was held at the Mystical Rose Oratory on campus.

The service was followed by an active play called “Las Posadas” depicting the Nativity story of Mary and Joseph looking for temporary residence for the birthing of the baby Jesus. Students acted out the parts of the characters and pretended to look for a resting place around campus while the crowd follows. The ending place was in front of Clarence T.C. Ching Hall where the lights were turned on by Brother Bernard “Bernie” Ploeger.

Starr
Starr Benson with a box of assorted ornaments

At 6:00 p.m. students arrived from mass and “Las Posadas”, and counted down from 10 until the lights were turned on.  Once the lights were on, students went into the Loo student center for hot chocolate, cookies, games, pictures, carolers and more festivities. Representatives from each club on campus put an ornament onto the Christmas tree in the Loo for their groups.

“We want it to be special. We want it to be a benchmark for every year for students to look forward to,” said Makerusa “Mak” Porotesano, director of the Office of Student Activities and Leadership.

The “Twas The Lights Before Christmas” event was hosted by Campus Ministry, Student Support Services and OSAL. The Associate Dean of Students, Allison Jerome, O’Regan and Porotesano have met together to organize the event.

The Loo was decorated by OSAL, service was lead by Campus Ministry and Student Support Services orchestrated the activities. The food and drinks were sponsored by Aramark for the event. The placing of the lights around campus were done by the maintenance crew and facilities over the prior wee