The Women’s Center Hosts a Gingerbread House-Building Event to Build Community on Campus

The Women’s Center Hosts a Gingerbread House-Building Event to Build Community on Campus

It was a cold afternoon on the first Friday of December, a change from the warm weather students had been experiencing on campus throughout the previous weeks. In celebration of the holidays, the Women’s Center hosted “The Gingerbread House Decorating event,” where students gathered to make gingerbread houses. Upon entering the Women’s Center, they were greeted with Christmas decorations and cookies, candy, and cream to complete their gingerbread houses.  

The sweet treats they created served as a way for the groups to show off their creativity as well as establish new friendships. Franny Parent, a doctoral student in the clinical psychology program at Loyola, said the main goal of the Women’s Center when hosting those events is for students to build connections. 

“Having a space such as the Women’s Center to come and do a craft and build a community with people that you wouldn’t have met otherwise is very important to us,” Parent said. “It is also part of our mission, which is why this event is one small drop in our buckets in ways we build communities here on campus.” 

The Women’s Center is committed to promoting equal opportunities and acceptance for all students on campus, regardless of their cultural and religious beliefs, ethnic backgrounds, or sexual orientations. The center’s various events have so far succeeded in fostering a sense of safety and community for students.  

“I think we have succeeded in building a community with every event we put on,” Parent said. “I’ve met some of the most incredible students that go to Loyola, who are passionate and care about social justice, and I think it is evident that building community happens here all the time.”  

For the holidays, The Women’s Center is decorated with Christmas lights, tinsel, and white paper snowflakes, which Parent describes as a festive setting for students.  

“It is festive and fun, and it looks like a winter wonderland in there,” they said. “All of our decorations are winter themed, and all our programming that we’re doing this year is focused on holidays instead of just Christmas itself.” 

A variety of holiday-themed events are being held on campus for the last few weeks of the semester, promoting the holiday spirit. Despite the stresses of the upcoming final exams, the Women’s Center wants students to enjoy the holiday season and have time to relax at their events. Faith Giegerich’ 26, said the gingerbread event was very cheerful. 

“It was very fun with all the music and all the decorations,” Giegerich said. “It was also wholesome, and I think little events like this are nice. So whenever they are reaching out to students, I will definitely come.” 

Giegerich’s experience at the Women’s Center was pleasant and enabled her to strengthen her friendship with her friend, Hannah Frankhouser’26, who also benefited from the center’s joyful atmosphere.  

Frankhouser said, “I love Christmas, which is why I attend most of the Christmas events on campus. Completing my gingerbread house was very satisfying, and I can say that my bond with Faith definitely grew through this event.”  

In addition to wanting to promote an inclusive environment, Parent invites students to join the Women’s Center’s Friday events to foster friendships and build a sense of community.  

Parent said, “We do programming every Friday and multiple times of the week, and the space is not just for women but also for marginalized communities. We always include the tagline ‘all are welcome’ and that’s because it’s true. All are always welcome here.”  

For more information and resources, visit their Instagram page @womenscenterloyola and Twitter page @loyolamdwc to be up to date with their upcoming events and outside resources.  The Women’s Center is located on campus at 4504A Seton Court.  

Featured Image Courtesy of Kiliane Gateau