Christmas on Campus traditions to change

Christmas on Campus, an event that Mercyhurst has sponsored for the past decade, is getting a makeover.

Like many events on campus, with the new university status and the changes the 4-1-4 calendar are going to bring to the academic calendar, rumors have been flying everywhere about the event being canceled.

Upon hearing the rumor that the event was “canceled,” many students were outraged.

Senior Jeremy Dickey said, “Yet again we see a very good service opportunity taken away from Mercyhurst. Just like the removal of Relay for Life, by removing Christmas on Campus we are limiting service, outreach, and charitable giving, something the university prides itself on.”

“I think it’s surprising that ‘the year of University’ also ushers in a ‘year of stinginess towards others,’” Dickey said.

“I am disappointed with all of the negative changes coming along with the positive ones,” said senior Daksha Córdova.

Junior Katey Keiser said, “We say that we are a Catholic school that lives in these beliefs, but all of a sudden we become a university and it’s almost as if those core values have taken the backseat.”

With so much backlash, Mercyhurst Student Government President Richard Molloy stepped in to voice the concern of the student body.

“Having seen the news explode on Facebook I went and spoke with Sarah Allen about the concerns of the student body and showed her the feedback that was being posted,” said Molloy. “I urged her to reconsider her decision and instead of cutting the event all together to perhaps investigate different alternatives.”

Director of the Campus Involvement Center Sarah Allen responded to Molloy’s thoughts by reconsidering and stating that, “Christmas on Campus will not be held in its traditional sense. We plan on working with a smaller constituency of non-profit organizations.”

This year’s event will be smaller in scale and has yet to be named.

In years past, the Leadership Certification Program students predominantly staffed the event, but this year the event will be open to the greater campus community, allowing more students to get involved.

Activities and Spirit Coordinator Preston Reilly will be coordinator for this year’s event and hopes to work with both the Service Learning Office and Campus Ministry to assist in this effort.

“Don’t be discouraged by this change, as the University grows and develops new programs and efforts, you may see changes like this take place. Change isn’t always a bad thing,” Reilly said.

That being said, some of the agencies that used to be invited to the Christmas on Campus festivities are going to be left out.

“I would encourage students who would like to be in contact with the agencies that will not be invited this year to stop by the Campus Involvement Center, as we would love to get them in touch with these organizations,” Allen said.

Christmas on Campus is just another example of how Mercyhurst embraces its heritage and belief in service.

Although not all of the children that students used to help will be present, some children in the Erie area will once again benefit from generosity and kindness of the Laker community.

For those interested in volunteering, the Campus Involvement Center will release information once the event is planned and details are finalized.