Editorial: And then SGA said, “Let there be lights”

Seeing string lights hang on rooftops and bushes in front of neighborhood homes can infuse excitement in anyone and makes it apparent that the winter holidays are right around the corner. Emerging from the past two dark winter seasons, Rider is decking the Moore Library with holiday lights once again.
In the past, the lights have been put on the bushes in front of the library during the Holiday Lighting Ceremony. Yet, to many students’ dismay, in the fall semester of 2010, the Student Government Association (SGA) made the executive decision to squash the lights for the year because of budget priority issues, according to SGA President Lorelei Colbert. The holiday lights did not return the following fall semester either.
Despite which holiday you celebrate, the lights added a great twinkle to Rider during the dreary and very stressful end of the semester, and they represented each and every winter holiday. Amidst a cornucopia of final exams, papers and projects, the simple act of having holiday lights truly proved to be the light at the end of the tunnel for most.
SGA has certainly taken notice of the lack of holiday spirit along with school spirit and took action to bring back the festive bright bulbs as a part of the newly created “Our House” campaign. This semester has proven to be a big one for SGA, as it has been working on projects to bring together the student body.
“Since the beginning of the semester, we have done the research to find the most cost-effective company to use,” Colbert said. “The money came from SGA’s allotted budget for the year, so it was definitely a big priority on our part.”
Though seemingly just a simple act of holiday spirit added to Rider, the holiday lights do come with a price. According to Colbert, renting and running the lights costs $20,000. With such a high price, it is evident that striving to amp up school spirit and create a positive campus atmosphere for students is at the top of SGA’s to-do list.
An added bonus to having the holiday lights up and running every night from tonight throughout finals is that the lights are eco-friendly, according to Colbert. This is just another sustainable initiative that Rider is supplying and SGA has recognized.
For current seniors who came to Rider their freshman year with the holiday spirit of the library lights, the reinstatment adds a special touch to their last winter here.
The Holiday Lighting Ceremony will take place in front of the library tonight from 8 to 10, and SGA will be collecting donations for Hurricane Sandy Relief. There will also be a drawing to win an iPad for those who have collected all four “Our House” pins and performances by the Rider Vibes, Rider Pep Band and R-Factor finalist, Megan Scheels.
The return of the holiday lights in partnership with the new school spirit campaign has shown the student body that SGA is listening to what students want and need to enhance their Rider ventures and is willing to take action to make it happen.

The weekly editorial expresses the majority opinion of The Rider News.
This week’s editorial was written by Opinion Editor Kristy Grinere.

Printed in the 11/30/12 edition

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