A special gift for Concordia College students has been shipped all the way from California to raise holiday cheer.
For years, the annual poster sale has brought in excess funds for the Student Involvement Council, which hosts the sale in order to raise money for their own organization. For the past six years the money has been accumulating until members could decide what to do with it. For them, providing the students with a Christmas tree was the ultimate holiday gift.
The SIC is a sector of the Student Government Alliance in charge of allocating student activity fees to the different approved student organizations, but their biggest role is promoting student involvement. The money from the poster sale helps fund an event each quarter that focuses on student involvement. First quarter, the SIC put the money towards the Cobber Expo, second quarter it was used to purchase the Christmas tree and the events for third and fourth quarter are undecided as of now.
Senior class representative Braden Carkhuff is credited for coming up with the idea to use their extra funds to buy a Christmas tree.
“I was just being facetious and said, ‘Let’s buy a Christmas tree,’” Carkhuff said. “But people got excited, and then it just manifested itself magically.”
Since then, the idea of giving Concordia its own tree has grown to mean much more to those involved.
Senior Kendal Christenson, SIC commissioner, supported the idea because of what it emphasizes.
“We’re really excited because it’s totally for the students,” Christenson said. “We wanted to do something that brought joy.”
The tree will be set up in the atrium after Thanksgiving break. It will have the traditional Concordia theme of maroon and gold with beanies scattered throughout signifying the tree’s first year on campus. The $2100 tree measures to be 15 feet high and 8 feet wide. The 13,000 tips will be covered with 4,600 lights and an assortment of decorations.
The SIC wanted to put the money towards something that could be enjoyed by all students.
“We hope that this will be able to impact students for years to come,” Christenson said.
The tree was also purchased in hopes of making one of the busiest parts on campus feel a little more like Christmas.
“The Sunday night after we come back from Thanksgiving break the campus looks gorgeous,” Carkhuff said. “But then you walk in to the atrium and it kind of just goes away. We’re bringing in a feeling of community that wasn’t in the Campus Center before.”
To further the feeling of community, Christenson will be sewing the tree skirt herself, working in a quilt that collaborates all the different t-shirts donated by various student organizations.
“This tree was important for the SIC because we’re a really invisible part of the SGA,” Carkhuff said. “So with this there’ll be a face to the name.”
The tree-topping event, performed by SGA president Tyler Dugger, will kick off three weeks of different charity events that will last until Christmas break.
There will be a booth set up next to the tree with more information on what the SIC does and the different charity events happening during the remainder of the semester.
“Concordia has given me so much,” Carkhuff said. “This project has given me a way to give back to the students and to the faculty.”