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Dorms begin to decorate for Christmas season

| Tuesday, November 28, 2017

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas on campus. Though there may not be snow on the ground, many dorms have already begun to get into the Christmas spirit by decking the halls with unique decorations.

Rosie LoVoi

From the outside, passersby can see Breen-Phillips Hall’s Christmas spirit shining through candles in the windows that are put out every year after Thanksgiving, Ashley Huffman — Breen-Phillips’ president — said.

However, Breen-Phillips residents get more excited about competitive holiday-themed section decorating, Huffman said.

“Each section will choose a theme, and everyone in the section decorates the whole hallway with that theme,” Huffman said. “We have judges come in and pick a winning section. … This year, we’re announcing the winner at a Christmas Party.”

Past themes have included “Creaster” (a blend of Christmas and Easter), Harry Potter and naughty and nice. Most of the decorations are handmade, Huffman said.

“The candles look really pretty when you see them on the quad, but [it’s] especially the decorations in the sections people really like,” Huffman said. “It’s cool to see, but it’s also cool to see all the sections because all the girls can work together and have fun doing that together.”

Pasquerilla West Hall celebrates the holiday season with a tradition not to be found anywhere else on campus: a lighting and decorating ceremony of the bush located in the center of the roundabout in front of the dorm.

“We have the ugly bush lighting ceremony every year around Christmas time,” Allison Huffman, Pasquerilla West’s president, said. “Everyone stands in a circle around the ugly bush, and we count down to the lighting of the bush. Once the lights are plugged in, everyone sings our ugly bush song to the tune of ‘O’ Christmas Tree.’ After singing, we go inside and have a memory night and look at all of the pictures from the past semester.”

This year, Pasquerilla West will light the ugly bush Tuesday.

“The ugly bush is unique to PW, so I think that a tradition only we have makes the girls in PW feel special and connected to something,” Huffman said. “It is also just a weird tradition, but it is fun and brings us all together.”

The McGlinn shamrock shines as the dorm’s own Christmas star for the Christmas season. The shamrock was made by a student around 10 years ago to rival O’Neil’s signature “O wreath,” McGlinn president Madeline Petrovich said.

“Around 10 years ago, a girl in McGlinn actually made it when she wanted to put something up for Christmas,” Petrovich said. “She made it with wires  and put the lights on. I guess it fell apart, but the workers who put it up fixed it, and they still put it up every year. … It goes up every year around Christmas.”

Though the shamrock, made of garland, wires and lights in the shape of a giant shamrock, isn’t a traditional Christmas symbol, it has become one for the dorm over the years, Petrovich said. This year, the shamrock will be put up on Dec. 5.

“Most people really appreciate it when you’re walking back from the library at an ungodly hour for finals and you turn around the corner on South Dining Hall and you see it,” Petrovich said. “It’s very nice, kind of calming. You’re like, ‘Alright, it’s Christmas.’”

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