Students and other members of the Rider community gathered outside Moore Library on November 30 to witness the return of the traditional campus favorite, the holiday lights, while also lending a hand to those in need.
Aimee Simone '13
While the festivities warmed their hearts, students used portable heaters to warm their hands at the Holiday Lighting.

While the festivities warmed their hearts, students used portable heaters to warm their hands at the Holiday Lighting.

While students on Rider’s Lawrenceville campus are anxiously preparing for final exams, some took a much needed study break to celebrate the start of the holiday season on Friday, November 30.

Students gathered around Moore Library, bundled up in coats and scarves, to welcome back a campus tradition they had missed the past two years: the holiday lights.

“The lights help ignite a positive atmosphere for our students, especially with the end of the semester rapidly approaching,” said SGA President Lorelei Colbert ’14. “We knew a lot of students loved the lights so SGA has been working for two years to bring them back.”

Students watched as Moore Library and the surrounding lawn and trees lit up for the first time in three years. Afterward, students enjoyed a night of holiday fun including festive treats such as funnel cake and hot chocolate, synthetic ice skating, and entertainment.

To help get students in the holiday mood, the Rider Vibes a cappella group sang seasonal favorites like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa Baby.

“The event was great success for us,” said Chris Barron ’14, vice president of Rider Vibes. “Singing was so much fun because we really connected with the crowd and they were really supportive.”

While the lighting ceremony helped to bring members of the Rider community together in a time of celebration, it also brought them together in a time of crisis.

“This past month has not been easy for our students, faculty, or the entire East Coast,” said Colbert. “I had many students contact me immediately after Hurricane Sandy who wanted to help with the relief effort. It seemed like perfect timing to combine relief efforts with this event.”

Student volunteers walked around the event, collecting money for relief efforts. All donations will be given to members of the Rider community, both faculty and students, who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy.

“We really want the lights to symbolize hope for our community and to help the students get through the end of the semester,” Colbert said.

But seeing the large turnout on Friday, Colbert was sure the lights succeeded in bringing some holiday cheer.

“It was a great kickoff to the holiday season here at Rider and a great chance to help friends and families in our own community at the same time.”