Students prepare for holidays with lights, decorations

Decorating becomes a bonding experience for residence halls and Greek life
Members of Beta Theta Pi wrap lights around their house this past weekend. From the bushes to the chimney, several Greek Life chapters have participated in the making MU a more festive campus during the holiday season.

As the holiday season draws near, holiday lights and decorations are adorning residence halls and Greek Life housing.

Decorating provides an opportunity for students to socialize. Hatch Hall Peer Advisor Matt Douty oversaw the decoration of the eighth floor of his residence hall. He said decorating the floor became a bonding experience.

“We put up a Christmas tree with ornaments that had everyone’s names on them, lights, a menorah and handmade snowflakes,” Douty said. “I really like the Christmas tree. It’s the Christmas symbol and it has everyone’s names on it.”

Students were encouraged to spread the holiday spirit by decorating their floors, he said.

“I helped plan it with our floor government,” Douty said. “We went out and did the shopping for it. (When) we did it, we inspired other floors to do the same.”

Freshman Julia Moore helped decorate the Pi Beta Phi house during a holiday party. The best part about decorating during the holiday season is being with her sisters, she said.

“Last week after our meeting, we had a holiday party where we could stay after and decorate the house,” Moore said. “Our house mom put out cookies and chocolate and read Christmas stories. We (decorated with) some lights over entryways, Christmas trees and decorations at the front of the house.”

Preparing for the holidays together adds to the holiday spirit, Moore said.

“I’m from Kansas City and on the Plaza they put (up) lights,” she said. “It was something I grew up with.”

The Interfraternity Council chapters at MU adorned their homes with decorations in preparation for a competition. The chapters have been competing with holiday decorations for four years now.

“There is a competition on Wednesday,” Sigma Nu president Elliot Rubenstein said, “It’s between all of the IFC chapters.”

The fraternity worked together to spruce up the outside of the house with lights, he said.

“We have lights on the front side of the house including the deck, columns, tress, upper balcony and then our side entrance,” Rubenstein said. “We’ve also decorated the interior of our home, which won’t be judged.”

Sigma Nu has taken first place in the competition for the past three years.

“The outside looks nice, and we try to keep it classy,” Rubenstein said. “We don’t like to go over the top. I think that’s why we’ve had success in the past.”

Decorating during the holidays allows chapters the opportunity for bonding and friendly competition, he said.

“I like the fact that all of the fraternities have the chance to do this,” Rubenstein said. “I think it makes fraternity row and Greektown in general look nicer. I think the Columbia community likes seeing it too.”

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