Do All Holidays Shine Equally on Campus?

There’s no place like Monmouth for the holidays—or at least for Christmas. Once the holiday season approaches, Wilson Hall is lit up in a beautiful array of trees, wreaths, and lights. Students and guests alike take time to stare in wonder at the holiday display in the building. While it’s easy to feel the Christmas spirit inside Wilson Hall, the Outlook editors have taken a step back to think—what about the other holidays? What about students who celebrate something else?

While Monmouth is not affiliated with a religion, students have definitely noticed the visible connection with Christianity when it comes to the Catholic center on campus and the Christmas transformation of Wilson Hall. A majority of the editors celebrate Christmas and in no way dismiss the celebration of the holiday, we’re just looking for more diversity.

One editor said, “I think Monmouth definitely favors Christmas. I see the occasional menorah around campus, but, while Hanukkah and Christmas are the most prominent holidays of the season, there are plenty of other holidays for other religions on campus that are not represented such as Eid and Kwanzaa.”

Monmouth is open to different opinions and expression of those opinions, shown by the variety of clubs and organizations representing different views on many things, including religion. So we believe it’s time to showcase more of that diversity during the holiday season. One editor suggested, “I would like to see Wilson Hall have decorations not just for Christmas, but for more holidays that take place during the season. It would look really awesome and make more students at Monmouth feel represented.”

Another idea voiced by an editor was, “[Monmouth] could acknowledge the most important holidays celebrated by religious clubs and organizations on campus, even if it’s a simple sign or a banner. This would teach students and members of the University community about different cultures and religions. As the University population continues to diversify, students’ view of the world should diversify as well.”

Furthermore, an editor explained how taking a poll of all the students and faculty on campus could help in understanding what holidays people celebrate on campus.

“I think a starting point may be to do a poll or a survey of sorts of our campus to see what holidays rank as and then pursue each of our religious clubs on campus and maybe go from there. It isn’t a one-person type of job, if we want our faith or our holiday or our culture represented on campus, we have the ability to make that happen,” said an editor.

However, every editor agreed that the display of the holiday spirit is beautiful, and does a great job of providing a sense of festivity amongst the student body. While students are stressed about exams, at least the holiday spirit can ease their worries as they head to English class in Wilson. “From the Christmas trees to the beautiful architecture that building is breathtaking during this season,” said an editor.

The holiday season is a time for the Monmouth student and faculty bodies alike to come together and express friendship, love, and respect for one another. With just a few weeks left in the semester, there isn’t much time left to bask in the beauty of the holiday season. So take a walk through Wilson, admire the Menorah in the Student Center, or pick up a candy cane in the dining hall.

For the editors of the Outlook, our holiday wish is that in the coming semesters we can see some diversity amongst the halls of our beloved University. While most of the editors celebrate Christmas, we can’t forget about our friends and classmates who could feel discouraged by not seeing their holiday acknowledged and celebrated by the school as well.