First-year class holds Christmas party for a cause

by Tabitha Blaser, reporter

Most people spend their weekend catching up on homework and relaxing, but the first year students will spend the busiest weekend of the semester hosting an ugly sweater Christmas party.

This finals week, Dec. 7, the SCY1 class “Fear and Happiness” is inviting all first year students to Great Hall above Pfeiffer Dining Center for Christmas games and activities from 7 p.m. to Not only will students be able to enjoy the event, but those who attend will be raising money for a worthy cause.

Political Science Professor Kedron Bardwell took his first year class to the U.S Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, USCRI, in Des Moines during welcome week. This short day of volunteer work soon sparked the interest of students in doing more.

“The idea [for a Christmas party] came from the fact that we worked with [USCRI] and we wanted to do some kind of event to benefit them by the end of the semester,” Bardwell said.

“I asked early in the semester if there would be students interested in working with that program and figuring out what we could do. Megan Myers, a student in the class, said she would work on it. She has been, along with me, one of the point persons for this event, along with [several others],” Bardwell said.”

USCRI is a committee that focuses on meeting the needs of refugees. They help those who are forced out of their own country with finding employment, building independence and gathering basic necessities for life in America.

The ugly sweater Christmas party will be looking to raise enough money to support a refugee through USCRI.

“We are hoping to raise 500 dollars. That is what it cost USCRI to do one adopt a refugee program. They buy some necessities like clothes, furniture, some food and other items they might need,” Bardwell said.

To raise the money, the class is promoting a fun competition between all of the SCY1 classes.

“We are asking for a free will donation at the door. You put it in a stocking of the SC class that you want to win,” Bardwell said.

The free will donation has a suggested donating price of two dollars. They are also going to have booths where you can purchase tickets to play in many Christmas-themed activities. At the event, there will be stations where you can decorate cookies, participate in minute to win it games, enter raffles for prizes and much more. Students are also encouraged to wear an ugly sweater and take pictures with classmates at two instant photo booths.

Students in the class have helped immensely with the Christmas party planning. First year Allie Karpurk, who has been active in getting ready for this event, is looking forward to giving back to USCRI.

“Having the refugees [in America] is a good cause towards happiness because these people are coming to America to be happy and escape what they are going through politically or in their country where they are not safe or welcome. I think students should come because it supports a really good cause,” Karpurk said.

A member from USCRI in Des Moines will be at Great Hall for this Christmas party and can talk to the students about their group. This event will be a good way for students to have fun before a stressful week of finals, and also allow students to give to this charity.