Class of 2026 constructs gingerbread houses before exams

By Maegan White

Elm Staff Writer

On Thursday, Dec. 1 from 5 to 7 p.m., the freshman class officers hosted a gingerbread jamboree, their first class event of the semester. It gathered students from all years to the Goose Nest to get into the holiday spirit before exams.

Freshman class officers Vice President Cara Olivarez and Secretary Brooke Thomas were the lead organizers of the gingerbread jamboree. They worked with the other class officers to budget for the event, pick up the supplies, and decorate the Goose Nest with holiday-themed decorations and treats.

Olivarez said that the officers decided to host a holiday party to give everyone an opportunity to take a break before exams and celebrate the holidays as a class.

“With finals coming up, this is a good way to start the holiday season,” Olivarez said. “Everyone is really stressed right now so it is a good Thursday event for everyone to come and relax for two hours.”

Students could come to the Goose Nest, drink hot chocolate, eat cookies and holiday candy, and decorate gingerbread houses. Students made cards for the residents of Heron Point, a retirement community in Chestertown, to wish them happy holidays.

According to Thomas, the class officers are working with Heron Point to deliver the cards to the residents the week of Monday, Dec. 5. While making their houses and cards, “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” starring Jim Carrey played in the background.

The event had a large turn out with students from all grades. Even some faculty and their families coming out.

Freshman Kyaran Balin-Brooks attended the event and made a gingerbread house with her friend. She said that she also helped the class officers set up and decorate for the event.

“I wanted to support my class officers, friends, and floormates because they put a lot of work into this event and I think they did an amazing job,” Balin-Brooks said. “It was a great turnout and I had a ton of fun making my cute little house. I do not think people realize how much goes into setting up these events so it was nice to get a little behind the scenes before the event started.”

Thomas said that attending Class of 2026 events are a great way to get to know class officers and allows them to better address the needs of their class.

“I hope people take this as an opportunity to not only get to know the people they have elected and for us to be able to share their concerns, but also get to meet their fellow classmates and get involved in the community,” Thomas said.

The freshmen class officers have plans for the spring semester ranging from service events to other social gatherings like the jamboree.

To follow along with and learn about their upcoming events, follow them on Instagram @goosegirlies2026.

Olivarez said that a goal of the freshmen class officers is to build connections within their year.

“I want them to feel a part of the class,” she said. “You might not know everyone in your class here, but if you come to these class officer events you get to know your class officers and classmates. We want our class to feel part of a community within [Washington] College.”

Photo by Mia Snyder

Photo Caption: Sophomore Hartley Meyer used the materials provided by the officers to make a gingerbread house.

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