As the fall semester of 2014 comes to a close, many of the last minute stressors such as finals, projects and even the unpredictable weather can take its toll on Keene State College students.
The Winter Celebration however, aimed to change that by giving students a short festive break from the madness.
Jennifer Ferrell, director of Student Involvement and organizer of the 2014 Winter Celebration, described the event as, “An effort to come together at the end of the semester as a campus community and celebrate each other, the end of the semester and the start of the winter season.”
“It’s really just a fun way to get together,” she spoke of the event, which is in its tenth year.
“Eat a lot of sweets, have some fun, play some games and see how creative and warm our community really is,” she advised.
With two chocolate fountains surrounded by a variety of dipping choices, hot chocolate, cotton candy and even a s’more making station, all free from sponsorship by the Office of Student Involvement and the L.P. Young Student Center, the Winter Celebration gathered large crowds throughout the day.
Matt Derrickson, a senior at KSC who has gone to this event in the past, said his reason for coming back was because it was “fun to come in here and smile with music playing.”
“These chocolate fountains get me every time,” he mentioned before walking towards the crowd that had gathered around the fountain.
Amy Donovan, a KSC junior, praised the Celebration as a great “de-stressor.”
“I think it’s very festive and puts you in the holiday spirit,” she said while chatting with friends.
While many show up for the free food and prizes, the Winter Celebration is also a chance for the many organizations on campus to get students’ attention.
Phoebe Buckman, a sophomore and member of the organization Active Minds, was helping out at her group’s table, which was giving out information about stress and mental health stigma.
“There’s a lot of people coming, and it gives groups a chance to reach out to people,” she mentioned about the event.
“It’s nice to hang out and browse around different organizations during this stressful time,” she said.
One of the more noticeable attractions was the wooden holiday card that Marketing and Communications table, run by Mark Reynolds, was making on a wooden board with numerous snowflake stickers and student assistance.
“Really nice attendance,” he spoke of the immense amounts of people that had come through.
“[It] helps the spirit and community at KSC,” he continued.
Hootie the Owl, the KSC mascot, made appearances during the event, and while the subject of attention for many attendees, one student was not too enthusiastic.
“The owl mascot kind of scares me,” Victoria Lebrun said, a first-year student at KSC.
She believed that the event seemed “very promotional, but it’s fun.”
All in all, the Winter Celebration was seen as a success, with Ferrell reporting that during the first hour, her office “had already given away one thousand travel mugs, the chocolate fountains had gone through eighty pounds of chocolate and the Marketing and Communications table had filled their board with one thousand snowflake stickers.”
Joseph Stallcop can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org