Holiday cheer comes to Chalmers

By Anna Etra and Erin Moy

Santa Claus came to Chalmers Lounge on Monday Dec. 14 as part of the the annual Winterfest festivities hosted by the Prefect Council and Social Committee. The celebrations included Christmas carols by the Chamber Singers, cookie decorating, hot cider, the opportunity to buy Wintergrams, pictures with Santa and a video display of holiday-themed movies.

“I think it was successful this year,” Senior Prefect Aarti Rao who helped plan the event said. “I’m really grateful for the hard work everyone put into planning this.”

Winterfest was supposed to include an all-senior Secret Santa gift exchange. However, it was cancelled when the Facebook event profile indicated that participants should choose to be listed as “naughty or nice.” The event was organized by senior Prefects Sylvia Gintowt-Gindick, Chase Morgan and Aarti Rao, as well as Emma Gilhuly ’10 and Heidi Chung ’10. Under the advice of their advisers, school chaplain Father J. Young and Jordan Church, the administrators of the group cancelled the Facebook event.

Church said that Secret Santa got shut down because although the naughty vs. nice was just a reference to holiday cheer, the prefects “didn’t realize the student body would misconstrue the intentions of the gift exchange.”

“I assume they misconstrued it because I have heard from students that in years past, some kids in Peer Support had done a naughty gift exchange,” Church said. “This was supposed to be a community building holiday event but people misinterpreted it to being inappropriate.”

Instead of continuing the event without any connection to naughty vs. nice, the “misconception was already out there, so the administrators of the group did not want to risk inappropriate activity being associated with senior prefect members,” Church said.

Nevertheless, decorations will remain up for the rest of the week.