Collaborative Celebration of Love event integrates multiculturalism into Valentine’s Day festivities

Members of the African Student Association, Hillel, the Latino Student Association and Geneseo Opportunities for Leadership Development (pictured above) at Celebration of Love in the MacVittie College Union lobby on Tuesday Feb. 13. The event allowed on-campus organizations to present and communicate their culture’s interpretations of love and affection. (Izzy Graziano/Knights’ life editor)

For many people, Valentine’s Day either evokes a sense of joy or a feeling of dread. Either way, there seems to be an enjoyable atmosphere surrounding the holiday on-campus—thanks to many Geneseo clubs that help make holidays and other events worth celebrating. 

Geneseo Opportunities for Leadership Development hosted an event on Tuesday Feb. 13 with the Latino Student Association, Yoga Club, African Student Association and Hillel to commemorate Valentine’s Day; the occasion was called Celebration of Love. 

“The Celebration of Love is basically different student organizations that want to volunteer during the week of Valentine’s week, trying to show each other how we like to celebrate love,” GOLD leader mentor junior Angela Kubik said.

The GOLD members had a picture-taking station set up and people could pose with a sign saying how they celebrate love. They also had a labyrinth of love for people to follow and see where it led them. Each additional group had something different at their table for participants to do. For example, Hillel had jars that you could decorate and plant seeds in and LSA had a card making station. 

“At our table we are doing cards with Spanish poems translated in English and Spanish—and people can come over and decorate them with whatever they want,” LSA president junior Emilie Porter said. “I hope [the students] learn a little bit about our culture. We’re very affectionate and passionate, so it’s just a fun way to learn something about us.”

The event was focused around sharing and showing love, but it also was a great way to spread awareness of the different cultural clubs on campus. 

The GOLD program is trying to collaborate with more clubs on-campus to cohost other events like this, according to Kubik. This seems like a great way to enhance and promote Geneseo’s inclusive atmosphere and the diverse clubs on-campus. 

“We are from yoga club—it’s very nice to be here today because the theme is ‘show love’ and when we study yoga, it’s not only about the poses or flexibility that people normally think, we study love from the inside, and how to be a better person,” biochemistry major sophomore and Yoga Club member Mai Ngo said.

Ngo also had an interesting personal take on the event. She said that being an international student, she really enjoys celebrations like this.

All the schoolwork and education is extremely valuable, but it’s the events, socializing and learning about holidays and people that she will remember and treasure most from her time at Geneseo. 

“I feel like it brings people together during the holidays when they can’t be with their families, so they are at least getting the experience here with their Geneseo family,” Kubik said. 

Holiday-themed events seem to be a hit amongst students—and hopefully there are more in the future. 

They are a great way to help people feel at home and still be able to celebrate during a holiday. These events also enable international students to experience multiculturalism and benefit from reaching beyond their comfort zones. 

These clubs did a great job “celebrating love” for the Valentine’s Day week. Now it’s your turn to go out and spread some love around campus.