Holiday Cookie Stroll sweetens Loop campus involvement


Will Kleihege

A student brandishes a greeting card from the Loop’s latest Holiday themed event.

As the holiday season begins ramping up before finals week, events at Lincoln Park like the Ugly Sweater Party and the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony are not the only ways for students to get their fill of holiday cheer. Now, the Loop campus is getting in on the festive action with the first annual Holiday Cookie Stroll. 

The Office of Student Involvement (OSI) hosted the event on Nov. 8, inviting students to explore the various buildings at the Loop campus for the chance to grab free cookies, mugs and enter into a raffle for a DePaul holiday sweater.

“It’s that element of play that sometimes gets lost in the Loop campus that we were able to bring and experience,” director of online learning for the College of Communication Joann Martyn,  said. “It’s also our version, the Loop version, of a college campus. We have our own vibe and ethos and we are trying to make it much more joyful, playful and involved.”

Cards and markers were set up at cookie stations in the Daley building and various floors of the DePaul Center for students to write holiday cards for kids at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. 

“The Vincentian mission is all about helping people, and DePaul does a great job of that,” associate dean of the College of Communication Paul Booth said. “It’s also about spreading good will, spreading good cheer, and helping people feel part of the community that we share.”

This event is just one example of recent pushes for more student involvement on the Loop campus. Jeffery Fricke-Waters, the esports coordinator with the OSI, believes that the effects of Covid-19 and remote learning led students to feel less acquainted with the Loop campus. 

“These opportunities are definitely needed and wanted,” Fricke-Waters said. “A lot of our students spend most of their time in Lincoln Park but we have really great buildings, opportunities and resources here in the Loop. We want the students and majors stationed here to know that there are events happening for them.”

Recent additions to the Loop campus include the Block Party and the Involvement Fair, which will be held again the first week of January back from winter break. As for other events to expect at the Loop campus this year, associate director of student involvement Mary Osbourne says only time will tell.

“Students are really interested in having involvement opportunities here,” Osbourne said. “Obviously there are going to be different numbers of students because it depends on what type of experience the students are looking for at different campuses, but we have seen a drastic increase in our Loop campus programming numbers in recent years.”

Students have noticed a disparity between the amount of Lincoln Park versus Loop events and are eager to see an increase in Loop involvement. 

Freshman Vraj Patel is based in the Loop as a computer science major but dorms in Lincoln Park. He believes that having fewer events in the Loop harms student life and could only recall Lincoln Park events he had been to. 

“I think the [Holiday Cookie Stroll] is a good idea because it’s hard for people to find that stuff,” Patel said. “I feel like there’s a 70/30 ratio, where 70% of events are in Lincoln Park and 30% are in the Loop. I think they just need to find a better way to communicate them.”

Both students and faculty members hope for more opportunities across both campuses, but Booth and Martyn simply ask for more cookies to make next year’s Holiday Cookie Stroll an even bigger success.

“Events like this, and all of the other events that happen with student life and the other colleges down here, are a way of helping students see that they are a part of DePaul and DePaul is a part of them,” Booth said.