A new tradition was begun on Dec. 1 when the SU community gathered to ring in the Christmas season. Cookies and cocoa were served, carols were sung and Associated Students of Seattle University President Kevin Eggers recited a special, SU-ized version of The Night Before Christmas.
It was ASSU that made the celebration possible, and hundreds of faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends enthusiastically flocked to the Library Plaza on a crisp and dry evening which culminated with the lighting of the Christmas tree.
The lights themselves are another example of SU's stalwart commitment to sustainability.
“The tree this year was obviously a new project for us, and we decided to install energy-efficient LED lights which will be reused in future,” says Byron Lynch, lead maintenance electrician. “We used 17 strings of 250, totaling 4,250 lights. Each string cost $28, totaling $476.
While comparable traditional lighting is initially cheaper at $12 per string, Lynch points out that the lights would have to be thrown away each year. Not only that, the burning cost for traditional lighting, at $12.24 a day, is 15 times the cost of powering the LEDs, which are using 10 kilowatts at just $.80 per day.
Electricians Jay Heitman and Ryszard Dopierala decorated the tree in two days, using a lift to minimize damage to the tree.
The Dec. 1 event was as festive as it was eco-friendly. Welcoming the crowd, President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., praised the students for coming up with the idea and organizing the event. He also spoke about how the new annual event fills a void in the SU experience, explaining, “You form a community, you go through the year, but our year ends with this week of class and then exams and we disappear for the time of Christmas itself. So we don’t get a chance as a community of students and faculty to celebrate Christmas together.”
The celebration continued a couple days later with the annual Christmas Season Open House. Faculty and staff feasted on a delectable breakfast and enjoyed each other’s company before heading into the quarter’s final stretch.