Guilford community celebrates Valentine’s Day

Free T-shirts, ice cream, games and a warm bonfire were just a few of the things that greeted the Guilford College community at the Guilford LOVE Party.

The Guilford LOVE Party took place on Valentine’s Day from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the lake. This community event signified the end of the Secret Guilford Valentine game as participants revealed themselves to their valentine.

The Secret Guilford Valentine game put a twist on secret Santa by inviting Guilford students, faculty and staff to participate in a gift exchange without giving away their identity to their valentine before the LOVE Party. The game began on Feb. 5 and players were tasked to give at least one gift to their valentine before Valentine’s Day, and another when they revealed their identity.

In addition to a Valentine’s Day celebration, the Guilford LOVE Party served as a way to strengthen the Guilford community through food, games and other activities.

“It’s a part of … a community bonding time,” said sophomore Carrington Smith, a health science and sociology double major. “It’s a part of team bonding.”

While the Guilford LOVE Party marked the end of the Secret Guilford Valentine game, it also wrapped up a series of Valentine’s Day-themed events that took place on campus. These included the Valentine’s Day Free Press Event, making Valentine’s Bags for the Servant Center and a Stuff and Plush event.

In addition to creating stronger bonds within the community, the event gave multiple Guilford clubs, organizations and departments the chance to collaborate and create a campus-wide celebration of Valentine’s Day.

The Bonner Center, Multicultural Education Department, Accessibility Resource Center, Art Department, Center for Principled Problem Solving, Learning Commons, Study Abroad, Office of Student Leadership and Engagement and the Friends Center all came together to bring the Secret Guilford Valentine game to the community.

This interactive game, as well as through the various other events put on during the week of Valentine’s Day, helped facilitate new friendships.

“We are all here eating ice cream together,” said Juliana Touprong-Wang, an Early College at Guilford student. “We are able to talk to people who we haven’t met before.”

While the Guilford LOVE Party gave the Guilford community the chance to come together, it also gave students the opportunity to take a break from their academic commitments and focus on celebrating love.

“I think that sometimes we get so busy and so stressed, and we face so many challenges that we forget to have fun,” said Director of Multicultural Education Department Krishauna Hines-Gaither.

With midterms approaching and students focusing on their studies, the Guilford LOVE Party was a welcome break.

“It supports the idea of creating a community on campus so students feel connected to Guilford College,” said Assistant Director of Admission Mick Anderson. “It is a time to put academics aside, and instead students can come out and have fun.”