Photo of this year’s Christmas on Campus events, courtesy of the University of Dayton.
Arts & Entertainment Editor
One of the University of Dayton’s most beloved traditions — Christmas on Campus — looks different this holiday season.
The anticipated evening of lights and laughter will not take place this year. Rather, the Christmas on Campus committee prepared activities and holiday cheer before leaving campus to ensure that the children of Dayton still experience the magic of the Christmas season.
“Since Christmas on Campus is one of the only events and clubs on campus that brings together both our Dayton community and campus, we really wanted to continue to do this even if that meant that there would be no in-person event,” Hannah Ilyavi and Dana Roscoe, co-coordinators of Christmas on Campus, said.
The committee chose the theme “I’m Dreaming of a Dayton Christmas: Traditions Live On” to honor the significance of Christmas on Campus while acknowledging the unusual circumstances of this holiday season.
“Typically, we invite first and second grade students from local Dayton public schools and pair them up with UD students. On the day of COC, they would walk campus with their buddies participating in different Christmas activities,” Ilyavi and Roscoe said.
“Since we are unable to hold any in-person events, we still wanted to do something for first and second grade students.”
Thanks to collaboration and extra creativity, the committee and other student organizations helped bring the Christmas spirit to Dayton school children before leaving campus for winter break.
Over 1700 craft kits were assembled and delivered to local elementary schools.
“The idea of a kit was an alternative to the student organizations hosting rooms where they have different Christmas activities during the night of the event,” Ilyavi and Roscoe said.
The committee also brought gifts to Dayton Children’s Hospital before break. Each year, the hospital receives the leftover presents from the on-campus Christmas on Campus event. To ensure that there were still gifts to be delivered this year, a gift drive was held.
Additionally, a children’s book was given to every first and second grade class that would typically attend the on-campus event. The Christmas on Campus committee authored the book, and the students of Our Lady of the Rosary and Saville Elementary School provided the illustrations.
UD students also had opportunities to engage in holiday activities. Beyond assisting with the craft kits and gift drive, students had the opportunity to submit designs for this year’s Christmas on Campus t-shirt. The winner was senior Mary Sander. A house decorating competition in the student neighborhood was also held.
The committee is grateful that the 57th year of Christmas on Campus could be celebrated — even if the format looked different than normal.
“[Christmas on Campus] gives UD students a chance to give back to a community that gives so much to us, as many of us consider it our home away from home. It really exemplifies the sense of community UD prides themselves on,” Ilyavi and Roscoe said.
“Although this year has been greatly impacted by the pandemic and will not look like a traditional Christmas on Campus, we wanted to make sure that we continued the COC legacy for both our campus and community. We hope we did this long lasting tradition justice amidst the craziness that has been 2020.”
Follow @christmasoncampusud to keep up with the festivities all year long!