CASA students get in the holiday spirit

Members of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts Student Affairs Committee got into the holiday spirit before Thanksgiving when they decorated a tree for Christmas in the Park. The community trees will be on display at downtown San Jose’s Christmas in the Park through Jan. 1.

Members of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts' Student Affairs community decorated a tree for Christmas in the Park.

Members of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts’ Student Affairs community decorated a tree for Christmas in the Park.

Christie Martinez, the president of the 2014-15 Student Affairs committee, said the group came up with the idea as a way to be social with other departments and within the committee – one representative is assigned to serve each year from each of the 11 departments and schools in CASA.

Some of the volunteers who helped to decorate the tree included: Claudia Gonzalez, of Health Science and Recreation, Martinez, of Justice Studies, Valerie Ruiz, of Kinesiology, Rebecca Robinson, of the Valley Foundation School of Nursing, Becky Ringer, of Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging, Sara Wykoff, of Occupational Therapy, OT Professor Gigi Smith, and David Hoffman, of Social Work.

The tree is one of many decorated by community groups for the annual Christmas in the Park event, which is open and free to the public from the end of November through Jan. 1.

“We all decided at our committee meeting that our tree would represent all 11 departments within the college,” Martinez said, via email.

Each committee member was asked to collect or make ornaments that represent the students or staff of the department. Many of the decorations include the name or abbreviation for the department, with some coming up with unique ideas such as a tree skirt made of copies of the Spartan Daily to represent the School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

“My favorite part was trying to find ideas to make the ornaments and also asking for my department’s help with ideas,” Martinez said.

Wykoff said her favorite part was seeing how unique each tree looked.

“Ours is so neat because of the variety of programs that it represents,” she said.

Martinez said she was planning to bring her children to see the tree she and other students decorated, which is located in space 449, across from the Fairmont Hotel.

“I want them to know that there is a lot more than just classes and homework at SJSU,” she said.

Wykoff said many of her classmates plan to go every year and even more plan to trek downtown to see the tree this year.

“Sometimes it seems that people are always so busy that the holidays are less of value, but Christmas in the Park is a reminder that there are still people out there that still value the holidays,” Martinez said.

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