WEB EXCLUSIVE: Campus groups celebrate the season

Abbey Stirgwolt

The gingerbread house has resumed its post in the Student Center next to the giant Christmas tree. Radio stations toss a rendition of “Jingle Bell Rock” in with their normal mix of chart-topping hits. Neighborhoods and residence hall rooms alike are bedecked with strands of Christmas lights.

It can only mean one thing: Christmas preparation is in full swing, and several groups on campus are in the process of celebrating one of the biggest Christian holidays of the year.

To commemorate the Advent season, the days leading up to Christmas, the Newman Center will hold its final mass of the semester Dec. 11.

“On Sunday, we have the Advent mass of light. It’s essentially our last 8 o’clock mass, our last event for the semester – a big CSA event,” said Nick Hosmer, pastoral associate for campus ministry.

Hosmer said the Catholic Student Association will host a reception following the mass.

The Dive turned its focus to Christmas for its final Thursday night gathering of the semester, relating the birth of Christ to its previous semester discussions.

“The topic of the night is going to focus on how Christ was selfless,” leader Rick McKee said. McKee said the Dive has focused on different aspects of selfishness throughout the year and planned to culminate the semester with a discussion of Christ coming to the world as the ultimate example of selflessness.

The Dive also hosts its annual Christmas party tonight.

“We have our annual Christmas shindig Friday night – It’s around $5, semi-formal – we’re going to have dancing and stuff,” McKee said. The group will attend Christmas Conference, a gathering of Campus Crusade for Christ groups from numerous Midwest college campuses, from Dec. 28 to Jan. 1 in Indianapolis.

Also tonight, Navigators will host an off-campus Christmas party at the home of one of the group’s members. A $5 white elephant gift exchange and “lots of food and fun” are included in the agenda, according to the Navs Web site, www.ksunavs.com.

Not to be outdone, United Christian Ministries hosted its annual Advent dinner Dec. 4, Student Events Coordinator Megan Vogias said, followed by a Christmas party at its weekly Sojourners meeting Wednesday.

In addition to their own celebration, members of UCM have teamed up with groups such as Hillel, Lambda Phi Eta, the Kent Communication Society and several other campus organizations to purchase Christmas gifts for needy families through the Adopt-a-Family program.

Participating groups received “wish lists” from anonymous families in the Portage County area and purchased gifts on the families’ lists.

Vogias said participation this year has been outstanding compared to past years.

“From what I’ve heard, everybody’s collecting all their gifts,” Vogias said.

Contact religion reporter Abbey Stirgwolt at [email protected].