Simmons Hillel hosts 1st Annual IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL VOTE! EDIBLE MODEL SUKKAH CONTEST
Over 200 Simmons students, faculty, and staff enjoyed Simmons Hillel's first annual If You Build It, They Will Vote! on Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at Simmons College in the Kotzen Room on the 1st floor of the Lefavour Building.
About our project:
During the Fall of 2009 / Sukkot 2009, the Simmons Hillel Residence Campus sukkah was desecrated by fire. While Simmons Hillel received tremendous support from the Simmons community as a whole (including financial support to replace / purchase a new sukkah from the Simmons Catholic Student Association and the Simmons Alumnae Association's Centennial Grant program), we came to find that the community did not know much about the holiday or it's traditions and what impact the desecration of a holy object could have on a community. We decided to create a program in which members of the Simmons community could actively participate to learn more.
About the contest:
Twelve teams comprised of one hundred members of administrative offices and student organizations assembled and decorated a model edible 8” x 8” x 8” sukkah. Campus Offices include: The Staff of the Beatley Library, the Office of Residence Life, the Office of Student Leadership & Activities (OSLA), the Office of the Dean for Student Life, and the Advancement Division. Student organizations include: Like Minds, the Student Government Association (SGA), the Catholic Student Association (CSA), the Chemistry/Physics Liaison, the Campus Activities Board (CAB), the Black Student Organization (BSO), and Relay for Life.
Simmons Hillel created and compiled each “sukkah kit” distributed to teams one week before the event. The kits included three 8” x 8” homemade gingerbread wall panels; a 2 x 2 foot plywood base to mount the sukkah; green felt to cover the base; glue to secure everything; a pack of graham crackers to make smaller items such as furniture, windows, etc; items for the roof: fruit by the foot, pretzel rods, items for decoration: gum drops, M&Ms, Skittles, Pull n Peel Twizzlers, Froot Loops, Pretzel Sticks, Cheerios; fruit items: runts, jujy fruits; an If You Build It, They Will Vote flyer; and documents about building a sukkah and resources to learn more about the holiday.
They Built Them, The Community Voted: The Category "Winners:"
Most accurate depiction of a sukkah: The Chemistry/Physics Liaison, The Student Government Association (SGA)
Best overall appearance & Most creative: Beatley Library Staff
Best use of edible objects: Like Minds, Black Student Organization (BSO)
Most skill used & Most attention to detail: The Office of the Dean for Student Life
Most “delicious” to look at: Relay for Life
Most Simmons pride: The Advancement Division
Most inviting (you want to jump in the sukkah): Campus Activities Board (CAB)
Most unique: Catholic Student Association (CSA)
Best theme: The Office of Residence Life
Most colorful: The Office of Student Leadership & Activities (OSL
The three hour event featured:
• Viewing and Voting: participants stopped by the Kotzen Room, viewed all of the sukkot (plural of sukkah) and voted on their favorites in 12 different categories. One hundred and sixty three ballots were cast during the event.
• Build Your Own sukkah: Those attending the event had an opportunity to make a smaller edible sukkah of their own using graham crackers, frosting, pull-n-peel twizzlers, m&ms, fruit shaped candies and pretzel sticks.
• Learn about Sukkot: Information about the holiday of Sukkot and its traditions were posted around the room for visitors to read. The Main Campus Sukkah is located just outside of the Kotzen Room on the patio’s grassy area for the duration of the 2010 holiday.
If You Build It, They Will Vote! is the first campus-wide program Simmons Hillel hosted this fall. "I am so proud of the many administrative and student organization partnerships created by this event. We are so pleased so many people supported this program, learned about a sukkah, and participated in the assembly and decoration process. We created this program in January 2010. To see the idea come to fruition with entries that are so creative and thoughtful is fantastic. We are also thrilled so many members of the Simmons community stopped by to vote, see all of the entries, and learn more about the holiday" said Simmons Hillel Director Ailene Gerhardt, who is also Director of Small Campus Advancement at Hillel Council of New England.
Simmons Hillel had originally thought of this as a one time educational project, but there has been considerable interest in having it again. The 2011 If You Build It, They Will Vote! edible model sukkah contest will be (tentative date) held on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 and the "sukkah kit" will be (tentative date) distributed on Thursday, September 22, 2011, with a commitment deadline of Monday, September 19, 2011.
For all other details about this event, visit the event website: http://web.simmons.edu/~hillel/ifyoubuild. Photos from the event can be found online: http://picasaweb.google.com/simmonshillel/IfYouBuildIt.
Simmons Hillel's If You Build It, They Will Vote was co-sponsored by Hillel Council of New England. For more information about Jewish life at Simmons contact Simmons Hillel: email@example.com, via phone (617) 521-2137, or online: www.simmons.edu/~hillel.