On Thursday, Dec. 2, the Student Association Programming Board (SAPB) hosted a holiday-themed de-stress event called “Holidaze” in the University Union Undergrounds. Being the first time the SAPB has hosted this event, a lot of preparation, thought and hard work went into the execution. Although the event was fun in and of itself, it served a larger purpose as well — it was intended as a way to help students de-stress during the finals season.

With the classic Christmas movie “Elf” playing on the big screen, the stage was set for a festive night. The bar area was equipped with a fully functioning s’mores station, and various tables set up throughout the undergrounds were covered in sweets and treats of all types, such as Oreo cheesecake. In addition, a cookie-decorating table with sugar cookies, frosting, sprinkles and crushed candy canes proved popular.

Students of all walks of life showed up to celebrate the holiday season, and the Undergrounds were filled with roughly 100 students at any given time. The area was large enough that even with the great turnout, social distancing was still able to be accommodated. The feeling of appreciation flooded the room as a community was strung together once again.

Katrina Chan, the SAPB festivals chair and a senior majoring in business administration, said she hoped the event would provide a relaxing space for students.

“We really wanted to put something together where students could just have fun, de-stress, eat good food and watch a good movie,” Chan said. “Get ready for Spring Fling!”

The event was loved by students as it was a nice space to de-stress. The Undergrounds were transformed into a magical winter wonderland with decorations, festive snacks and the Christmas spirit could be felt from down the hall.

Alexandra Barkan, a senior majoring business administration, said the event has served its purpose for her and was a great way to de-stress in finals week.

“This is definitely my favorite event of the year,” Barkan said. “I love that there’s so much food, and of course, ‘Elf’ is my favorite movie. It’s just a good time, this has been such a nice break from studying. It’s definitely a de-stresser for sure.”

Aside from helping de-stress, the event also helped students get into the holiday spirit. With cookie decorating, a showing of “Elf” and a cocoa bar, it’s hard not to feel merry and jolly. It is easy to forget about the holidays during finals season — with exams, moving back home for the holidays and the cooling weather, the holiday spirit isn’t often something on the top of a student’s priority list. Events like this help students get back to the simplicity and joy of the holiday season.

Samantha Carroll, SA vice president for student success and a junior majoring in philosophy, politics and law, said Holidaze helped her get in the festive spirit.

“It’s very nice, very festive and definitely gets you in the holiday spirit,” Caroll said. “[Holidaze] kind of brings you back to the elementary school dances.”

The SAPB has routinely hosted similar events, such as Fall Fest, Spring Fling, comedy shows and concerts. According to Chan, Holidaze was organized as an annual event called “Frost Fest” but the festivals committee changed the name to represent the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Spring Fling is coming up for next semester and SAPB urges students to keep an eye out for announcements about other campus activities. If “Holidaze” left an impression, it is one of a wish for all students to have a fantastic holiday season.

“A couple of years ago, we were doing Frost Fest, that kind of changed into doing Fall Fest, Holidaze and Spring Fling,” Chan said. “It’s placed in between the holidays, which is why it’s called Holidaze. Hopefully, everyone can de-stress and just kind of have a good time.”

Events like this are a great way for students to de-stress and socialize in a relaxed atmosphere. Too often students are put in a position of cramming and stress during finals week, with no healthy outlet or breaks. The SAPB organizes events like these to help students find that outlet and have a good time to rest and rejuvenate.