Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle U on Valentine’s Day

Jordie Simpson
Valentine’s festivities: Lauren Ebia showing her handmade bouquet made during the RedhawkTHON and SEAC bouquet event
RedhawkaTHON and SEAC selling colorful flowers during their Build a Bouquet event for Valentine’s Day (Jordie Simpson)

Valentine’s at Seattle University had absolutely covered campus with red, pink and white. The day felt happier this way. Seattle U’s festivities were equally as insulting, blazing a morbid red, so that, in case you forgot, it’s Valentine’s Day.

The events which permeated all around Seattle U, showed off a togetherness that Rishebh Bansel, a second-year accounting major, had described as “lovely campus spirit.” 

He helped put together the Valentine’s Day Celebration event held in SINE 120, opened to all. The room itself was decorated in hanging hearts and John Legend was playing in the background, with catered food from Bok a Bok and themed treats everywhere.

“It’s just those simple things that add a sense of belonging, that we want to create as a part of GSC (Graduate Student Council), so, this event is a celebration of that,” Bansel said. 

Destiny Ledesma, a first-year student development administration graduate student, spoke about the event, which had been made geared towards graduate and adult learners in the Graduate Student & Adult Learner Link (GAL), a community space located in the same room as the event.

“It’s a Valentine’s Day event that the Graduate Student Council is putting on in collaboration with the MOSAIC Center, specifically in the GAL which is for graduate and adult learners. This is a space for them just to come and hang out, to enjoy our time together, have fun and get to know each other,” Ledesma said. 

There were clusters of students, lured by the room’s atmosphere, sitting or standing around thoughtlessly. Who will they go home to? What’s the specialty, or what’s the big idea about Valentine’s Day? 

Anh Nguyen, a senior in the data science graduate program, had been sitting alone on the bench in the middle of the room. He leaned in, above the music and said he’d found the event through Instagram.

HM: Do you believe in love?

AN: Love? Define love. [Laughs] I do, yes. I know that love exists.

HM: Where do you find it most?

AN: I think first comes self love, then trying to understand what others have been through and their experiences. I find that it’s similar so it becomes easier to extend a form of love to them, families or strangers. Connecting with people, learning from them, that’s love.

HM: Then love isn’t unique in celebrating it one single day.

AN: No. Not at all.

HM: Tell me about today. Do you have any plans?

AN: [Laughs] I’m going to work later. I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day.

A handmade card table for students to create Valentines to accompany their bouquet (Jordie Simpson)

In certain festive or fanciful moments that allow an elaborate dive into heart-shaped candies or requests to “be mine,” the exclusivity of red roses, slows theatrical attempts of love in everydayness. It’s what makes the anticipation of February 14th so nerve-wracking. 

Valentine’s Day, in all its theatricality at Seattle U felt communal, an invitation to bond with the rest of campus. Something about the colors or overall good mood felt contagious. A smiley, chatty contagion. 

Up the stairs into the Student Center, there was the Cards and Cookies event, the Queer Valentines event, and below, on the first floor of the Student Center, the Valentine’s Day Donut Sale. 

Grace Nguyen, a fourth-year cell and molecular biology major running the sale, had been packing up the booth, saying they’d sold out already.

“This was our Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi American (APIDA) Valentine’s Day bake sale! Because it’s Valentine’s Day, and because people are looking to give a gift for a friend or loved one, we were thinking we could have a Valentine’s bake sale with Krispy Kreme donuts,” Nguyen said.

Instead of the regular glazed donuts, the APIDA student association had brought over themed treats covered in chocolate and sprinkles. 

“Now we’re sold out, which is really fun because we’re planning on using these funds to help future meetings and events that we’re hoping to do when spring quarter comes around and when all the legacy events are happening. We’re hoping to use these funds to buy tickets to raffle off to our members,” Nguyen said. 

The booth had nearly sold out before noon, and most of the events celebrating February 14th were widely successful. 

It was a perfect day for the love-fest, a perfect day of pink and red. When the campus blares up like this, about something so flamboyantly silly, so incredibly nostalgic, when heart discs pollute the walls and ceilings, everything feels a little bit better.

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Jordie Simpson, Staff Photographer

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