Sydney Brummel — Staff Writer
It’s the day before Valentine’s Day, and the excited buzz of special dates and sweet treats fills the campus. But walking into West Hall on the evening of Thursday, February 13, one might notice a slightly different atmosphere. Love is in the air all right, but rather than a feeling of romance, it is the bond of friendship.
A small sign reading “Gals, come this way!” directs students to West Hall’s basement. Usually serving as a small computer lab, the room has been transformed. Christmas lights line the rearranged computer desks. Pink streamers hang across the ceiling tiles, and strings of paper hearts dangle overhead. Balloons scatter the floor. A small group of freshman girls is to thank for this seasonal redecoration.
“I have been inspired by the great show that is Parks and Recreation, where Leslie Knope put a date to Galentine’s Day, which is February 13,” freshman West Hall resident Lindsay Kuiper said.
Kuiper, a digital media and communications major from Orange City, IA, has celebrated Galentine’s Day for the past two years by arranging special girls-only parties with her friends.
“Now I’m at college and I wanted to do the same thing,” Kuiper said. “And here we are in West Lobby basement just with the gals. No boys are invited because its just for the gals.”
While Kuiper sent out the email invitations and organized this year’s event, she was assisted by some of her close friends. They helped her craft and hang up the decorations, and others supplied food and drinks. With an expected turnout of around twenty people, they put a great deal of thought and effort to make this get-together ideal for a group of girl friends.
“We’re basically trying to have the girliest night possible,” Kuiper said.
One table, covered with a pale pink tablecloth, is strewn with chocolates and other snacks, such as Oreos and bags of popcorn. Freshman Allie Zwart provided a large bowl of her homemade punch. A few bottles of nail polish and face masks sit in the corner of the basement.
A gift exchange starts the evening off. Afterward, the group of girls view the Netflix chick flick, To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, which was released only one day prior. With two mattresses sitting in front of a TV, the friends had comfortable seating while the movie plays.
Despite the limited space of West Hall’s basement, Kuiper and her friends successfully created an environment that welcomes any girl, regardless of her relationship status. With the colorful decorations, delicious goodies, and the company of good friends, the girls are sure to enjoy a memorable celebration of the unofficial holiday.
“It’s just a fun day to spend with girls,” freshman Alinda Brouwer said. “It’s fun to have your significant other, but if you don’t have your girlfriends as well, what’s the point?”