Tiger love: Valentine's Day at DePauw

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Many consider Valentine’s Day as a time to celebrate solely with a significant other through grand gestures, but Valentine’s Day at DePauw has turned into a simple day dedicated to self-care and spending time with the people you enjoy.

Students Feel Festive  

Alex Wallace, a first-year, considers the day like any other. 

“I’ll probably hang out with some friends and relax. I want to be able to enjoy their company because we’re only in college for three years and then after I won’t be able to. So I want to make the most of it even if it is Valentine’s Day,” Wallace said.

Sophomore Mahnoor Zahid sees the holiday as an opportunity to treat herself. 

“I’m planning on dressing up. Maybe wearing a red turtleneck and a little skirt to dress for myself. I am also buying myself flowers and starbucks,” Zahid said. “My house will be decorating cookies so I will be attending that and in the evening, if I do have time, I plan on watching a rom com with my friends.”  

Danny Nguyen, a junior said, “To professors I’ll definitely say ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’ and for my girlfriend I’ll do the typical thing, buy roses, chocolate, and try to plan a date.” 

Opinions on Valentine's Day 

Although the majority of the students on campus have celebrated Valentine’s Day before, there are some who only have a preconceived idea of what the holiday entails.

For Nguyen, it is a chance for international students to experience the holiday. “As President of DISA (DePauw’s International Student Association) we try to learn and teach for international students to get used to American culture and see what it is like here. Valentine’s Day would be a special day to show what it’s typically like in America or in other countries that celebrate Valentine’s Day,” Nguyen said. 

When Zahid was asked about her thoughts on the holiday she said that we often tend to miss the point and should instead focus on self-love because it can be triggering for those who have been in or are in an abusive relationship. “The way the holiday has been capitalized is solely by focusing on your romantic partners whereas I feel like sometimes you do need to hone in on self-love and even cherish platonic relationships in your life. There needs to be a tone of sensitivity which sometimes gets missed because there’s so much toxic positivity about over celebrating love when not everyone has the same ideas of love.” 

Activities on Campus

For the holiday, students were able to take part in various campus activities. 

There was the option of making a stuffed animal in the campus activities office, Alpha Chi Omega passed out cookies and carnations for healthy relations in Stewart Plaza, Zeta Phi Beta is held a Sweet Treats Bake sale, Omega Phi Beta is had a raffle for chocolate covered strawberries, Art club sold paper roses in the Union Building, and Timothy Global Health wrote Valentine’s Day cards for kids in St.Jude.

Students had the option of celebrating the holiday however they wished without being bombarded with hearts and flowers at every corner. Considerations for COVID-19 have been made as well.

DePauw’s Campus Activities Coordinator, Alyse Milikan said, “ I like that we have medium-sized events that are easy to avoid if you're uncomfortable with the day. I don't necessarily think she shouldn’t celebrate it because obviously some people like Valentine's Day, but I like that we make it easy if you're uncomfortable with it.”