Student Government Association (SGA) erected a 12-foot Christmas tree in GATA fountain for the first time since 2015.
Last year, Danny Burke, then-president of SGA, submitted a bill to hang lights around the mall area.
Sloan Polvado, a junior marketing major from Sugar Land and class president, submitted a bill with Andrea Fraser, junior global studies major from Georgetown and class vice president, to hang the purple and white lights. Polvado said it was inspired by the other campuses in Abilene that also decorate for the holidays.
SGA will light the tree Thursday at 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the campus mall area.
“We wanted it to be something free for students,” said Polvado. “It’s a little early, but we want them to enjoy it for longer.”
The tree in the GATA fountain was funded by SGA’s budget and not part of Polvado and Fraser’s bill.
The event will have student performers, including Polvado singing with Jax Pimintel and all three a cappella choirs – Gracenote, Hilltop and Foundation – as well as Christmas cookie and ornament decorating.
“This time of year is when students can get the most sad due to how cold, dark and gloomy it can be,” Fraser said. “We wanted to give them a little piece of joy when they walk around campus.”
In addition to the lighting event, Litmas, Executive President Ty Kelley said SGA plans to offer service opportunities through local charities within the next few weeks to honor the religious aspect of Christmas.
“We want this to be a tradition that outlasts us,” said Kelley, a senior ITIS major from San Antonio. “We saw the potential of it last year, and we want our campus to be a spot for the community and getting students involved in Christmas.”
Seniors will have the opportunity to take their ornaments home before break.