OSKALOOSA – William Penn will have their first annual “Penncember Fest” Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 6 p.m. at the Penn Activity Center.

The event is free of charge for the community and it is being organized by the Student Government Association at William Penn apart of an effort to make more of a connection with the community and the campus.

William Penn participates in events like the Christmas Parade each year, but SGA President Jace Neugebauer and Public Relations Director Aric Crehan felt that the university need more of an impact in building the community experience with the campus, especially during the holidays.

“So, we know that Oskaloosa, as a town, last year was recognized as the number four town in the state of Iowa that celebrates Christmas. A large part of that has to do with the lights that hang around the town square and they have a huge Christmas parade. We as a university have always participated in that, but we felt like there was probably something we were missing as a university, not only for our students but for the community,” he said. “And so we wanted to explore something that would provide families from the community to come onto campus, experience a holiday celebration, and interact with our students and that way maybe there’s not only a connection built between the community in the university but we as a university would be doing our part in helping the town, you know, be recognized as a Christmas Town in the state of Iowa.”

The SGA isn’t the only organization involved in bringing this event to like. According to Crehan, SGA reached out to several groups and organizations on campus and each organization that wanted to participate was assigned a take to come up with ideas and organize activities for the community to participate in.

“We reached out to other groups and organizations on campus, fraternities, sororities, educational groups, just every group on campus and we’re like, ‘hey, if you guys want to join in on this you guys can have your own table and do whatever event you would like to,” Crehan said. “Everyone kind of was open arms to it and contributed and different ideas so they’re bringing Santa and stuff like that, we’re making ornaments, making stockings, there’s gonna be cookies and hot chocolate. Every group is going to have their own table and they’re going to have their name on it so the community also knows that these groups are also helping out with, it’s not just SGA.”

Although this is the first Penncember Fest and no one knows how things will turn out, Jace Neugebauer said it definitely won’t be the last Penncember Fest.

“This is something we’d like to continue,” said Neugebauer. “We weren’t necessarily sure, you know, how things are going to turn out, but I definitely think that there’s going to be a second year. Doesn’t really matter how the event goes we’ll both be here next year, hopefully, we get re-elected, it’s definitely something that we want to continue and hope to build on.”

The public isn’t asked to bring anything as all activities are free and will be sponsored by the organizations present. All the community would need to bring is a cheerful holiday spirit.

“There’s nothing to bring, everything’s going to be provided by student organizations,” Neugebauer said. “There’s going to be different tables that have different events from ornament making, to making rain reindeer, food decorating or cookie decorating, build your own stocking, just things of that nature. So we’re really just trying to build some holiday spirit on campus.

“Bring your holiday spirit, that’s what you can bring,” Crehan chimed in.

Tiffany McDaniel can be reached at tmcdaniel@oskyherald.com or on Twitter @tmcdaniel_osky.

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