For years it was a tradition to light up the sizable tree on the front lawn as Christmas approached but in the winter of 2009, the lights did not shine. This year, they will shine again.
In the midst of the economic recession, the lighting of the Christmas tree was deemed unnecessary and the tradition was halted in order to save money.
“Holiday decorations, including Christmas tree lights on the CBU front lawn and other locations, were not deployed in 2009 in view of the severe economic downturn that precipitated a number of cost-saving measures,” Mark Wyatt, vice president for marketing and communication, said.
Students were left in dismay wondering what happened. Others assumed that it was due to the recession.
“I was expecting to see the Christmas tree lighting but then I figured that the recession had something to do with CBU’s decision not to light it,” Kelly Rice, junior, said.
Due to the lighting being deemed unacceptable in the midst of recession, incoming students had no idea that there was ever a tradition that involved the front lawn pine tree being decorated as a Christmas tree.
“This is only my second year at CBU so I never really noticed this tradition going on over the years. I have not even noticed that there is a pine tree in the front lawn,” Amanda Angel, sophomore, said.
While some students knew nothing about the Christmas lighting event others saw it as a wonderful tradition that is not commonly pursued at other universities.
“I think it’s very cool that not many universities have a Christmas tree lighting event like we do. Most universities wouldn’t take part in such an event due to religious differences,” sophomore Natalie Dixon said.
Even though the recession is not over, this year the lighting will be back.
Students look forward to this but seem to agree that there should be a limit to the amount of lights used and for how long they are used.
“They should continue this tradition at California Baptist University but the lighting process should be limited to certain hours to conserve energy,” Yessenia Ramirez, sophomore, said.
“Although the impact of the so- called ‘Great Recession’ still is being felt in our region and beyond, we are pleased that the Christmas lights will once again be on display in key locations this year to contribute to a festive atmosphere for our campus and community,” Wyatt said.