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Halls decked with Haven again

Haven residents look forward to hosting Deck the Haven in a new way.  |  Photo Courtesy of David Phillips 

 

Students will once again experience the joy of Christmas through Deck the Haven, after an initial decision by Student Development ended both Deck the Haven and Mosaic Masquerade.

DECK THE HAVEN REDESIGNED

The Student Government Association brought the event back by working with SGA advisor and Student Programming and Activities director Laura Igram as well as the public events board to find a new location for the event. With new coordination, the event will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 6 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the tent by Flour Fountain, have live performances, a canned food drive, characters entertaining people in line and seven attraction rooms with fast passes available.

“I’m just excited to see the sort of energy that comes with students having something that they really treasure and view as precious... return for one more shot hopefully to stay as a Biola tradition,” said Gregory Ambrose, SGA president and senior English major. “It’s a big step for Biola students to be able to say, ‘Here’s an event that we can run, that we can put on that’s professional, that brings people together, that creates community and it’s open to the whole campus and potentially beyond the Biola community too.’”

By hosting the event on Wednesday, SGA and Haven residents hope to include more of the Biola community, specifically off campus students. Haven resident and junior cinema and media arts major Chris Blanco does not want off-campus students to feel as though they have to return to campus special for the event.

COMMUNITY SOUGHT

The event’s new location required re-envisioning as the option of walking down a hallway and entering rooms was no longer available. In the tent, the front half will consist of food, including hot chocolate and Chick-Fil-A, and a stage for six performances throughout the night. The back half will include seven attraction rooms themed on current movies. The first 100 students will also receive a fastpass for an attraction room by donating a can of food.

“It took me a really long time to really visualize [the tent location] because our attractions... they’re really segregated by each room, and so that was our goal is like each room that you step in, once you break into a door it’s a completely different place,” said Mitchell Wang, Haven resident and sophomore sociology major.

Despite the challenges, the Haven floor, and all of Hart Hall, step into preparing for Deck the Haven with an important focus on community and showing care to students.

“A lot of stuff’s been taken away from students event wise, so where they’ve been focusing more on sports and academics... which isn’t a bad thing, but I feel like... there hasn’t been that much reward for the students who have been going here or paying tuition to go here,” Blanco said. “So I feel like getting a chance to put on this kind of event for students as not only a stress reliever right before Christmas time but as a chance to show them, ‘Hey, we care for you, we want you to have this fun time that we’re going to work for.’”

MOSAIC MASQUERADE LOSS

While the Haven floor remains excited for the return of Deck the Haven, Mosaic resident and sophomore biblical studies major Lars Gustafson remains hopeful for future events yet disappointed at the canceling of Mosaic Masquerade and the loss of community.

“The main thing for me is that I felt my community on the floor last year was pretty segregated between freshman and the upperclassmen, and there’s no way that we were brought together and this event finally everything clicked on our floor,” Gustafson said. “The potential of what Mosaic Masquerade has to bring the floor together... that’s ultimately a reflection of what we’re supposed to do as a body of Christ.”

Although Mosaic Masquerade remains canceled, Deck the Haven looms in the distance and Wang believes the event will bring joy to students as they head into finals.

“One of my favorite parts is just seeing everyone just smiling and just be just taking that relaxed step away from the stress of finals because I think during that final week everyone’s just gloomy and just the whole school just looks down and we’re all just studying and this is just that spark of joy, [it’s] like, ‘Hey, we’re almost there, we’re almost there,’” Wang said.

 

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