Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Sunday, April 14, 2024 — Houston, TX

Baker Christmas to become college-only

Guillian Paguila / Thresher

By Spring Chenjp     9/5/23 11:27pm

Baker Christmas, formerly a campus-wide public party, will now be Baker-only, according to Baker College President Jonah Wagner. A new Baker public is being planned for the spring semester.

Wagner, a senior, said the new Baker public would be hosted in the spring to give social chairs more time to plan the event. Most aspects, such as the theme and capacity, have not been decided.

“We didn’t just want to copy and paste a new public [with a] new name that would be basically the same thing,” Wagner said. “We know that Rice students love their public parties, so we want to still deliver that experience for students.”

Baker senior Austin Cox said though he felt Baker Christmas was sparsely attended last year, he still enjoyed the event. 

“I had a good time because it was my friends and mostly Bakerites,” Cox said. “[It was] a lot of people I knew.”

Former socials chair Piper Winn said though she felt feedback from Bakerites was largely positive, she heard negative sentiment about last year’s Baker Christmas on social media platforms such as Fizz and by word of mouth.

“The app was pretty much [non-Bakerites] complaining about the music, the space being too big and empty, little things like that,” Winn said. “We did everything within our power to have it run smoothly, but there’s certain aspects that we didn’t have any ability to change.”

According to Winn, Baker social chairs had to work within guidelines from administration reducing capacity due to COVID.

“People from other colleges or people who hadn’t been social chairs or had experience with that were making comments about things that, understandably, would be frustrating if I had been in their position,” Winn said. 

Will Rice College   sophomore Gabe Sanchez said he didn’t attend Baker Christmas last year after hearing negative opinions from upperclassmen.

“It’s pretty early for a Christmas theme party,” Sanchez said. “And obviously there’s not that many Christmas-themed songs you can actually dance or party to.”

For the new public in the spring, Baker sophomore Vinay Joshi said he’s seen efforts by Baker social chairs to solicit Bakerites’ opinions.

“They sent out a brainstorming Google Form last year, my freshman year, for new ideas for what the Baker public could be,” Joshi said.

Joshi also said he was excited for the reveal of the new public theme, hoping for something that ties more into Baker culture.

“I’d want something more internal to Baker .. tied into our [college] themes,” Joshi said. “We’re the hell college. We have so much fire and devils everywhere, why is Inferno [the] Jones [public]?”

The last time Baker Christmas was college-only was in 2021 due to COVID.Despite restricted attendance, Wagner said the event was still a success.

“The whole week [of events] leading up to it was Baker-focused and then the event itself was Baker-focused,” Wagner said. “Many of our juniors and seniors that were there for that event said, ‘That was one of my favorite Baker events ever.’”

According to Wagner, the history of Baker Christmas passed down in the college is that it was started by a student in the 1990s.

“We just had a student that was really passionate about Christmas,” Wagner said. “He started celebrating it in the middle of September and so that ultimately evolved into the Baker Christmas tradition that we have today.”

More from The Rice Thresher

NEWS 4/10/24 12:05am
To bike or not to bike? Beer Bike 2024 sees tents, possible wind

This year’s Beer Bike took place Saturday, April 6. After a seven-minute delay, the alumni races began, followed by the women’s and then the men’s. For the second year in a row, each of the races were divided into two heats. As usual, the times from both heats will be compared, along with calculated penalties, by the Rice Program Council to determine final results. Results are not available at time of publication, and the campus-wide Beer Bike coordinators did not provide a timeline for when they will be.


Please note All comments are eligible for publication by The Rice Thresher.