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Multicultural holiday celebration brings students together before finals and break

LaShonda Gurley is the director of the ONU Office of Multicultural Development. She was a part of the team that hosted the holiday event (photo/Ohio Northern University)

December can be a stressful time for students. Final deadlines start to roll in followed by the creeping threats of finals. In light of the stress, students can look forward to a long winter break and the joy of the holidays. To give students a chance to celebrate before the break, a multicultural holiday celebration event is organized annually and all students are welcome. 

The event is hosted by the Office of Multicultural Development, International Services and the Multicultural Student Organizations. The event is organized annually to give students of all cultures and backgrounds a place to meet and celebrate the holiday season. This year’s event took place in the Affinity Commons Dining Café.

Office of Multicultural Development Director LaShonda Gurley was a part of the team who hosted the event and believes the celebration is a great stress reliever for students.

We encourage all students to come enjoy themselves with some holiday cheer! All students are welcome to join us!”

The event has been organized every year in December since founding of the Office of Multicultural Development roughly 10 years ago. According to Gurley, there is a growth in participants each year with around 50 to 60 students involved in recent years.

Our big event seems to be the gingerbread house competition. There’s a lot of teamwork and communication involved so it’s nice to see students work together in the holiday season.”

For some students, this is the first year they experience the event. One of those students happens to be Kriya Patel. Patel was surprised by the number of students involved and believed it was a nice atmosphere for socializing with others.

It’s nice to have a space where students who are from different backgrounds can meet and celebrate the holidays together. I personally don’t celebrate a specific holiday, but I enjoy celebrating generally with my friends”

Some students also enjoyed the festivities, but were not as surprised by the turnout of the event. This was the case with Juan Pinto, a student who was also experiencing the event for the first time.

Ada is a smaller place. It may not be a huge turnout, but it’s nice. I also like the area. I think it’s a great spot for students to meet.”

Aside from that, Pinto believed that the event was a great opportunity for students to learn about the different cultures of their peers.

The Office of Multicultural Development, International Services and the Multicultural Student Organizations at ONU have been organizing and hosting the holiday celebrations for roughly a decade. With the growing amount of student involvement and the positive atmosphere, we can expect to see the event next year as well as the following years to come.