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Carroll to ring in Christmas season

Emily Schrank | Friday, December 3, 2010

The Christmas season unofficially kicks off tonight with the 13th annual Carroll Christmas, when many students will make the snowy trek to Carroll Hall for the dorm’s signature event.


“If you only make it out to Carroll once, this is the night [to go],” said senior Rob Wilson, a Resident Assistant in Carroll.


The annual event, which drew more than 1,000 students last year, will feature a Christmas tree lighting, a cookie contest and an opportunity for pictures with Santa Claus.


“My favorite part of Carroll Christmas is Christmas Karaoke,” Wilson said. “It’s a really fun time to be able to just sing Christmas carols with a bunch of your friends after a week of preparing for the event. I would say it’s definitely most people’s favorite part of the event too.”


Wilson, who served as hall president last year, said more than 700 people have confirmed their attendance on the Facebook event page.


“It’s great that we are able to get such a high number of people to participate, given that we are the smallest dorm on campus,” he said.


The residence hall will also collect donations for Toys for Tots at the event.


“It’s really nice to do something charitable during the Christmas season,” he said.


The Student Activities Office (SAO) funds Carroll Christmas, Wilson said.


This year’s event also marks the 10th Carroll Christmas for rector Fr. James Lewis.


“Carroll Christmas has grown quite a bit over the years,” Lewis said. “We started out with about 150 people in attendance and now have over 500.”


Lewis said the residents of Carroll Hall are excited about planning the event each year.


“The dorm community threw Carroll Christmas into high gear about five years ago by increasing the decorations, food and drink, and adding the opportunity to have pictures taken with Santa,” Lewis said. “More recently, we added Mrs. Claus and Santa’s elves to the mix.”


Lewis said the cookie contest became a big part of Carroll Christmas.


“It’s very competitive,” he said. “Yes, the guys will bake cookies, and no, they never win.”


Wilson said Carroll Christmas is a great bonding event for the residents of Carroll Hall.


“We had tremendous help from our entire dorm, especially our freshmen,” he said. “Everyone has really embraced the event.”