On Dec 2. the Student Government Association (SGA) chapter at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) held its annual Celebration of Light ceremony in the Student Center from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
While this event has been held in the past, this year, participants may have noticed a refreshing difference from years past. For the first time here at SNHU, the Celebration of Light encompassed the celebration of all winter holidays, including the celebration of other cultures, religions, and tolerance in the varied celebrations.
The event featured a chance for students to make their own paper bag lanterns, a hot chocolate and holiday treat table, a Salvation Army toy donation station, a door decoration contest, live entertainment by Texas native Colin Hauser, holiday letter writing opportunities for deployed troops, and more.
While SGA headed the table of sponsors, SGA Vice President Jessica Gallant was sure to send shout outs to the co-sponsoring clubs that took part in the night. She stated that “the International Student Association, Hospitality Student Association, Office of Diversity Initiatives, Office of Institutional Advancement, Coordinators of Activities and Program Events (CAPE) At SNHU, the Outreach Program, Radio SNHU, and the Student Veterans Association all helped make this event possible.”
In previous years, the Celebration of Light ceremony celebrated the Christmas season with an annual lighting of tree ceremony. This year diversity was celebrated in a change that was accepted enthusiastically by many individuals, one of which was President Paul Leblanc.
In a speech opening with recognition of the events that happened earlier in the week in CA, President Leblanc emphasized how joyous it was to be surrounded by the collection of individuals that make up the SNHU campus who “come together and delight in differences at a place where people like you are celebrating light amongst the darkness.”
When asked to comment on what makes this year’s Celebration of Light ceremony so special, President Leblanc stated, “We seem to be in a period of religious tolerance [at SNHU] a period that is timely and much needed.”
After opening speeches commenced, students proceeded to the many activities presented for the night, and many voiced their approval for the event using the hashtag on Twitter #SNHUlights. SGA plans to keep up with this new Celebration of Light event in following years, stressing the importance of religious, and cultural tolerance, and acceptance.