Union Board brings Christmas celebration to campus

December 17, 2010

by Zach Beaird, Staff Reporter

The holiday spirit was alive at Tech during Union Board’s annual Christmas in the Plaza Dec. 14 from 5-8 p.m. in the Student Center, Main Floor rather than its scheduled location in Centennial Plaza. 

Students and members of the Ruston community were encouraged to embrace their inner child at the Disney-themed event with attractions including build-a-bear, digital caricatures and pictures with Santa, which were all provided for free by UB.

Mary Allred, a senior marketing major, served as committee head for the event. 

Though many obstacles were brought up, Allred said UB’s expectations were met with more than 500 people joining in the festivities.

“We began preparations in mid-November with set-up and making orders to make sure we had everything we needed,” Allred said. “Last year we ran into the problem of not having enough build-a-bears so this year we ordered 540 which accommodated our attendance well.”

However, UB member Nick Rangel, a sophomore economics major, said he felt the turnout not only met, but exceeded UB’s expectations.

“I helped with publicity where we worked hard to let everyone know what was going on,” Rangel said. “I feel like our work paid off, and we were able to bring out a good crowd.”

In addition to helping with publicity, Rangel also spent the evening in full Aladdin attire as one of the many Disney characters giving out autographs in small booklets provided by UB.

Allred said the autographs, as well as a moon bounce and Mickey Mouse ears, were cheaper gifts and prizes provided for children to allow students to enjoy the other novelties offered.

“We had problems last year because we ran out of novelties like build-a-bears before a lot of students could get them,” Allred said. “These novelties are provided by students’ money so we want the students to be able to enjoy them.”

With the addition of gingerbread cookie and ornament decorating, as well as free food and hot chocolate, UB made it a point to host a Christmas spectacle that appealed to all ages.

Yvette Brion, a sophomore photography major, said she felt the event was designed for students who were truly kids on the inside.

“I feel like a kid again, and it’s fun,” Brion said. “I haven’t had my picture taken with Santa since I was 10!”

However, Allred said it was not easy getting everything together. She said UB encountered some problems when getting ready to put on the event.

First, UB had to relocate from Centennial Plaza to the TONK due to cold weather and high winds. Rangel said he felt it was better for the event to be inside anyways.

“It’s best that we couldn’t have it outside,” Rangel said. “It was too cold for kids to be out there and it was especially too cold for me in my costume.”

Also, complications outside of UB’s control made them unable to get the photo booth and snow machine in time for the event.

Despite these setbacks, however, Union Board still managed to host “a very merry magical Christmas”.

E-mail comments to zcb001@latech.edu.