Students mourn cancelled events
Haven residents reflect on the importance of tradition. | Photo Illustration by Caleb Raney/THE CHIMES
Traditions make memories. Traditions make friends, and on a small college campus like Biola’s, traditions make campus culture. Consequently, after two of Biola’s most beloved traditions got canceled, students have expressed bereavement towards the loss of campus identity.
Bewildered & Upset
With Student Development’s August announcement on the discontinuation of the student-run traditions, Deck the Haven and Mosaic Masquerade, students remain bewildered and upset with the Biola administration.
“[Canceling the events] makes everyone even more jaded towards administration because it feels like an apathy towards tradition and community when they just cut events,” said Dave Phillips, senior cinema and media arts major and resident of Haven. “I get that we’re here to learn, but this isn’t just a place to learn, like, we live here... living is more than learning. We need to have events, things to do, traditions to bring us together.”
For over 20 years, the floor of Haven in Hart Hall has graced the student body with its popular Christmas celebration, Deck the Haven, and the floor previously called Mosaic in Horton Hall has welcomed students in for an evening formal in late spring called Mosaic Masquerade. Mosaic offered a fun-filled, fancy evening with mock extravagance, costumes galore and a live DJ. Complete with its Christmas lights, pine needle scent, elaborate sets and overall festive atmosphere, Deck the Haven welcomed Christmas onto campus and provided students with a short break from their stress.
“It’s easy for me to talk about tradition, coming from Haven. It’s a small floor in a small dorm that lives and dies by its tradition,” said Max Christensen, senior English major and resident of Haven.“All of these traditions bring with them stories, experiences, things that upper classmen still talk about, that people who’ve graduated and have moved on and married will still talk about because they have fond memories of them. Because they remember their experiences with other people on the floor, because they remember bonding with people through tedious labor and effort and great payoff.”
a topic of excitement
Almost from the moment students entered campus, chatter of these infamous events spread throughout the student body, and typically residents of the halls hosting the events began brainstorming. Planning for these occasions served almost as an initiation to those new on the floors and broke down the barriers of class standing as they all worked together to prepare their dorm rooms.
“That was definitely a topic of excitement, especially for incoming freshman who got to be on this floor, they got to do this amazing event,” said Bretton Theune, senior journalism major and Haven resident.
Not only did these events bring community for the residents, but they also taught the students valuable lessons, such as budgeting and cultivating creativity. Each room decided on a theme, had to petition the upper classmen for a certain amount of money, and then strategize about how best to use their limited funds to create the best possible outcome.
“Having an event like Deck the Haven shows that the campus trusts students to be creative to balance their time responsibly and to really grow in areas of hospitality and creativity. I learned a lot through Deck the Haven,” Christensen said.
With these events gone, students feel Biola has suppressed the students’ freedoms and robbed the floors of their character. Horton and Hart now struggle as they try to find a new identity this year, a new quality to be remembered for, another reason for students to care about them.