By Rayce Patterson | Echo
As the semester winds down and finals draw closer and closer, there are few opportunities for students to escape from their studies and take a breath. One opportunity that does exist is the Gerig Christmas open house, which was held on Tuesday, November 28.
While most open houses that happen during the end of the fall semester revolve around the upcoming holidays, Gerig put a spin on the traditional festivities by using a summer theme instead. They named it "July in Christmas" after popular summer, Christmas in July, parties.
"It's in the middle of winter that we're doing it," sophomore Samantha Barrett said. "I just want it to be summer when it's winter, so it's kind of nice to have that break."
Gerig's open house was held in both the lobby and on the fourth floor. In the lobby, attendees could participate in hula dancing, make crafts, play yard games and dress up in summer attire and take pictures. There was also a place to grab snacks and Hawaiian-themed drinks.
If guests were willing to climb to the fourth floor of Gerig, they would be greeted by FOSO's Christmas tradition, an event they call Sumo Santa.
"We line the floors and walls with mattresses, donated from FOSO beds, and have someone dressed up as Santa and wrestle anyone who challenges them, which is a blast," sophomore David Fletcher said.
Gerig's open house is put on by a committee of PAs and other members of the Gerig community that are interested in helping plan the all-floor open house. According to Fletcher, the PAs are required to be on the committee because they have knowledge of what is realistic for each floor. The PAs then recruit other floor members to the committee who "would be good creative leaders and helping us get things done."
Junior Jenny Nelson has been on the planning committee for the last two years. She enjoys it because she helps plan the event and consult with others on good ideas for the open house.
"It's always fun to think of different ideas and bounce off of each other about what you can possibly do," Nelson said. "It gives me an opportunity if I do have an idea to be able to say it."
Inhabitants of Gerig understand other students don't often visit, and those students don't really understand Gerig culture. The Gerig Christmas open house provides a unique opportunity for people to visit Gerig and get a taste of who they are as a dorm.
"The Gerig Christmas open house is a place where people can come from all over campus and get to see Gerig," said Barrett. "It's nice to invite all of campus to see what Gerig feels like and is."