“Love Bites” event diminishes Valentine’s Day blues

In honor of a holiday that oftentimes perpetuates loneliness to singles, Geneseo Late Knight’s “Love Bites” was a fun, lighthearted event for everyone who participated in celebrating. (Elizabeth Jacobs/Staff Photographer)

Geneseo Late Knight took over the MacVittie College Union Ballroom and filled it to the brim with candy, treats and a general pleasant mood with their “Love Bites” event on Saturday Feb. 11. Activities overflowed out into the lobby for students to participate in. 

Outside, a photo booth snapped free photographs of whoever could manage to fit inside. Groups of friends pushed and shoved their way into the booth wearing an array of ridiculous accessories as provided by GLK, which resulted in some very silly and memorable snapshots. 

Inside the ballroom, there were three tables. One held an array of brownies and frosted cookies, which disappeared quickly into the mouths of hungry students. Another had mason jars and bowls of candy. Students were encouraged to decorate their mason jars with paint and to put candy inside of them for later—or to simply refill as they decorated if they couldn’t resist a quick treat. 

But by far the most popular table was the one where students could build their own stuffed animals, à la Build-a-Bear. As soon as the event opened its doors, everyone who waited to get inside immediately gravitated toward the piles of hollow bears that sat waiting to be picked up and stuffed at this table. 

Once the participants chose their furry friend, students reached into massive boxes of white fluff and filled up their bear’s body to their heart’s content. There were baskets of felt hearts and stars, which students wished upon and put into the stuffing for good luck. Popular wishes included “good grades” and “love.”

When their animal had come to life, participants created a birth certificate for their creation—or as the certificates called themselves, “bear-th certificates.” The bear-th certifications included the bear’s name and date of birth. Names were creative and ranged anywhere from the cute, like Calvin, to the major-referential, such as Dope-amine.

“The ‘Build-a-Bear’ activity was totally awesome and one of the more unexpected, fun and unique features of a GLK event I can remember,” psychology major freshman Madeline Reichler said, while holding her bear “Cameron Cam Camo Flage.” “I’m really excited to send the bear I made to my friend from another college to show I’m thinking of her this Gal-entine’s Day.”

“The stuffed bear was a huge surprise,” English and adolescent education double major freshman Hannah Fahy said, with her bear “Franklin.” “I came just to find out what ‘Love Bites’ was and was not disappointed.”

It seemed everyone at the event was proud to carry their homemade bear around.

The event, held to dissipate Valentine’s Day blues, went above and beyond its purpose, as students mingled with friends and strangers alike while participating in the festivities. Stories of childhood firsts at ‘Build-a-Bear,’ sing-a-longs to the event’s blasting playlist and empty candy wrappers littered each table—successfully fostering the sense of community that Geneseo is so well known for.