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SGA community committee hosts holiday party in Dalloway’s

| Thursday, December 12, 2019

Photo Courtesy of Kelsey O’Connor

A banner advertises the SGA Holiday Party. The event was held in Dalloway’s Coffeehouse and aimed to introduce Belles to various different holiday traditions.

On a blustery Tuesday night in South Bend, Saint Mary’s students gathered at Dalloway’s Coffeehouse to share in fellowship at the Student Government Association (SGA) Holiday Party.

Hosted by SGA’s community committee, Dalloway’s was transformed into a space filled with decorations and food representing Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Refreshments including egg nog, warm cookies and latkes were served. Tables were set with coloring sheets and markers so students could partake in creating art.

Giavanna Paradiso, a junior and co-chair of the committee that planned the event, explained the importance of having non-Christmas specific events for students.

“We are the community committee, so I thought that part of community would be trying to be inclusive with the different holidays,” Paradiso said. “Then also trying to educate people on traditions from Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa because I know I was genuinely curious about other traditions.”

To support this exploration of other traditions, the food served at the holiday party included traditional dishes of each holiday, such as sweet potato pie and coconut cake for Kwanzaa.

“I mean, you don’t have to celebrate every holiday or any of them, but just that you’re aware,” Paradiso said. “I love celebrations, and if you see somebody, you can feel comfortable speaking to them about it. If they tell you they have, you know, a Hanukkah celebration that night or they’re going to celebrate Kwanzaa with their family over the course of multiple days. Just being able to open the door to conversations like that I think would be cool. I hope people leave this event more aware than they were when they walked in.”

While the event lacked any formal discussion regarding the holiday traditions being celebrated, Paradiso said she hopes the laid-back environment provided an atmosphere in which the conversation could flow and students could learn about the various different traditions on display.

Many students were drawn to the event due to the promise of French cross beanies and free food.

“I’m not going to lie to you, I was initially drawn here by the free beanies. But I also needed a break from the stress of schoolwork and finals,” first-year Annabelle Murray said.

First-year Becca Jones added to the sentiment of attending the holiday party as a study break, but also as a way to meet new people and step out of her comfort zone.

“I think the timing of the event was ideal because everyone could use a boost with finals around the corner,” Jones said.

Dalloway’s has become an increasingly popular location for student events this semester since reopening this fall. Paradiso said she loves Dalloway’s and hopes more Belles will grow to love it, too. The new location has acted as an appeal factor for students to attend the event as well.

“The beanie was a draw for me, but I really wanted to check out Dalloway’s too,” Rachel Oliver, a sophomore, said.

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About Mia Marroquin

Mia Marroquin is a rising senior Communication Studies major at Saint Mary’s. Currently serving as Saint Mary’s News Editor, she hails from Holland, Michigan and is an 80’s movie fanatic. Follow Mia on Twitter @_miamarroquin

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