Students enjoy a very ‘Perry’ Christmas

Vijay Gatpa, a graduate student in the Department of Technology, speaks with President Bill Perry during the Peppermint with the Prez event Tuesday in Old Main.

Chynna Miller, Staff Reporter

‘Twas the week before finals and in the lobby of Old Main, celebration for Christmas had begun its reign.

The last of the “Prowlin’ with the Prez” events, “Peppermint with the Prez” took place Tuesday in the lobby of Old Main.

Students gathered around the assortment of Christmas trees and decorated sugar cookies while drinking hot cocoa.

Among those students were the members of the Association of International Students who sponsored this year’s premiere event.

Kevin Vicker, the adviser for AIS, said Student Government was very kind to let them be involved and help make the international students feel welcomed.

“It’s really great for the international students to get to have a personal interaction with the president of the university and bring up any issues or concerns they have,” Vicker said.

President Bill Perry proceeded to open the floor for the international students to discuss what holidays were important for them back in their native countries.

Sunrose Maskey, a freshman psychology major from Nepal, took the opportunity to explain to everyone about his country’s holiday, Yamary Purnima.

“Yamary means dish and Purnima means full moon,” Maskey said.

During the holiday they gather at the oldest member of the family’s house and make a steamed pastry, ‘Yamary,’ while the full moon is out.

Perry said these events are beneficial to get to know about diversity that takes place on campus.

“It’s very important to recognize how rich our diversity is, our culture is, and our nations are,” Perry said.

Shirmeen Ahmad, student vice president for academic affairs and coordinator of the events, said she wanted everyone to feel as if they were getting an opportunity to hang out with the president.

“Eastern is all about getting to know students on an individual level,” Ahmad said. “That’s why there are always activities so students can do things with him, not just talk, but actually hang.”

At the last ‘Prowlin’ with the Prez’ event and the final year in his presidency, Perry said he will miss the relationships with student body that he has made and the relationship with the Student Government leaders the most.

In return members of Student Senate expressed what they would miss about him once his reign is over.

“I’ll miss his presence,” said Brianna Johnson, a sophomore family and consumer sciences major. “The environment on campus will be different without him.”

Ahmad said Student Government hopes to continue the “Prowlin’ with the Prez” events with the president next year as well.

“I think this will be something that’s carried on who ever the next president is,” Ahmad said. “EIU values getting to know their students, and this is a good opportunity.”

Chynna Miller can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]