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‘Tis the Season at STJ

In the midst of students preparing for finals week, the University took time to celebrate the Christmas season with the 22nd Annual Winter Carnival, beginning on Nov. 29 and continuing through  Dec. 6.

“Winter Carnival is one of SGI’s signature events throughout the year,” Oscar Diaz, Student Government vice-president said.  “Our Student Affairs Committee collaborates with Campus Activities to make the holiday season come alive at St. John’s.”

In addition to SGI and Campus Activities, the Office of Student Engagement, according to Jodi Cox, Director of Campus Life, also helps organize the Carnival.

“It is a great way to end the year on a high note,” said Cox. “It brings out that holiday spirit.”

To help promote some of the events on campus, Diaz said the SGI Public Relations Committee worked to create incentives for students.

“The committee created Winter Carnival Passports, where students can collect stamps from certain Winter Carnival events,” Diaz said.

“The students who attended the most events will have a chance to win a limited edition SGI coffee mug.”

The weeklong celebration kicked off with a Christmas coffeehouse on Friday that included student performers such as Jason Lapin, Dana Hetzel and Shanna Gikonyo.

In addition, this past Sunday night was the Christmas movie series held in the DAC Org Lounge.

On Dec. 3, SGI hosted the first VIP Ice Skating event in Bryant Park.

Yesterday, the University brought Central Park to the Great Lawn, one of the trademark events of the Winter Carnival. Carolers and live toy soldiers and nutcrackers decorated the campus, as horse and carriage rides were made available to students.

The Festival of Lights will be held today at 7 pm in Taffner Field House. The event’s purpose, according to Cox, is to celebrate the diverse winter holidays celebrated by students on campus.

“It is a cultural celebration, highlighting diversity,” Cox said.

The Carnival will conclude this Thursday, starting with Santa’s Workshop in the DAC Sodano Coffeehouse, where students can have their pictures taken with Santa.

Mass at St. Thomas More Church follows Santa’s Workshop at 8 p.m. and will then be followed by the culminating event of the Carnival, when University officials will light the Christmas tree outside St. Augustine Hall, followed by a fireworks display.

According to Diaz, this year’s tree comes from Keil Bros, a local garden and nursery in Queens.

“We’re excited to end the night celebrating with St. John’s students, staff, faculty, administration and especially our alumni,” Diaz said. “We’ve been delighted to see the excitement and enthusiasm our students have shown at the Winter Carnival events we’ve had so far,” Diaz said. “And we hope that the same holiday spirit remains for the rest of the holiday season.”

“Students look forward to the Winter Carnival,” Cox said. “It is a lot of smiles, laughter and people coming together.”

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