College of Arts and Sciences throws first Ugly Sweater Party


According to organizer Kathryn Watkins, more than 75 students attended the Ugly Sweater Party on Dec. 9.

Students roasted S’mores over an open fire, watched holiday classics and wore their most outrageous holiday sweaters at the College of Arts and Sciences’ Ugly Sweater Party.

Over 75 students stopped by the event on Dec. 9, according to organizer and coordinator for the College of Arts and Sciences Kathryn Watkins.

“I’m just so happy that we were able to do it,” Watkins said. “I just really hope that it brought as much joy to everybody else – the students, the faculty, the staff – as it does to me getting the plan.”

For Watkins and Interim Dean of Students Michael Hulsizer, being able to bring students together and offer a fun break from schoolwork was an important aspect of the event.

Hulsizer said he wanted the College of Arts and Sciences to give student groups the opportunity to connect with peers. During the Ugly Sweater Party, multiple organizations took the opportunity to do just that, according to Watkins.

“It was nice to have them come out and kind of showcase who they are,” Watkins said. “I know that when I was a student here, I didn’t know much about other student groups or what I could join, where I could fit in. So I think it’s good to have things like that where you can bring them all out and have a representative and have somebody to talk to.”

Students Meghan O’Brien and Michelle Milla sit at a table at the Ugly Sweater Party on Dec. 9. They hoped to recruit students to the Global Culture Club during the event. Photo by Cas Waigand.

Watkins said there were students and fliers from the Latin American Student Organization, the Philosophy Coalition, the Webster Writers Coalition and the Global Culture Club.

Junior Meghan O’Brien and Senior Michelle Milla attended the Ugly Sweater Party to recruit students for the Global Culture Club. The organization is still in the process of forming and is planning to formally present itself to the Student Government Association next semester.

“When I transferred it last semester, I didn’t see a club for anthropology students, and I didn’t see any engagement between the faculty and students. And so I’ve been interested in pursuing that,” Milla said.

According to O’Brien and Milla, however, the club is open to anyone at Webster, not just those in the Anthropology and Sociology Department.

Along with engagement from student organizations, the Ugly Sweater Party offered more festive ways for students to engage at the event.

Hulsizer said the party included a raffle for two “Charlie Brown” trees. Watkins said 40 students entered the drawing.

Farrah Melidor, Justin Garma and Meghan O’Brien stand for a photograph after being selected as having the ugliest, ugly and uglier sweaters, respectively. The College of Arts and Sciences held the Ugly Sweater Party on Dec. 9. Photo by Cas Waigand.

And the Ugly Sweater Party lived up to its name, with three students being awarded ribbons for their “Ugly, Uglier and Ugliest” sweaters.

“They were taking some photographs of some that were pretty good. I tried, but I don’t have as ugly of [a sweater]. So, they had some good ugly ones,” Hulsizer said. “We’ve had a few ugly sweaters. But I think just in general, people are happy to have a little bit of time to kind of get together and enjoy the day.”

Hulsizer said he hopes to offer more events like the Ugly Sweater Party in the spring. He said he enjoyed giving students the chance to come back together and connect at the event.

“I think it’s so nice to see everybody having a good time and getting back to seeing each other in person,” Hulsizer said.

Watkins said she had the idea to offer a “Spring Fling” event before spring break and would love to work with students to incorporate their ideas for events. Students can reach her at

Jamie Breuer, the department coordinator for nurse anesthesia, helps serve holiday punch and hot chocolate at the Ugly Sweater Party. The party was held on Dec. 9 and drew over 75 students, according to organizer Kathryn Watkins. Photo by Cas Waigand.

Watkins said she loves getting to plan events that bring students together. She said since she does not teach courses at Webster, she cherishes the opportunity to get to connect with students and offer them a break from their day-to-day routine.

“If there’s not something fun, then it is kind of hard to always look forward to [school],” Watkins said. “So, I try to bring fun wherever I go.”


Share this post

+ posts

Cas Waigand (she/her) was the editor-in-chief for the Journal (Spring 2021). She majored in journalism with a minor in photography. Cas also covered COVID-19 and the 2020 general election. She enjoys writing, watching Netflix, crocheting, and taking photos.