Valentine’s Day at Wheaton

Whether bitterly single or happily taken, Valentine’s Day turned into a week’s worth of events and activities on campus. Valentines were made, books were sold and songs were sung in order to raise funds for several student-run clubs in commemoration of the romantic holiday.

iSpeak hosted a Love Week last Tuesday through Friday in order to raise funds for their participation in the ACUI’s College Unions Poetry Slam Invitation (CUPSI). The event will be hosted at the University of Illinois, Chicago from April 12 to 15.

Throughout the week, iSpeak sold valentines and limited edition prompt books during specific allotted times in Chase Dining Hall from Feb. 7 to 9. “Poetry-grams” were sold for a dollar and prompt books were sold for five.

Love Week was capped off by an open mic event on Friday, Feb. 10 at 8 p.m. in the Lyon’s Den. Over ten poets read their work, including iSpeak’s President Natasha Shrestha ’19 and Senior Advisor Jillian Valerio ’17. Most poems read during the open mic involved themes of love, both thriving and failing.

According to Shrestha, the event provides a greater audience for iSpeak members to share their work. “It’s a performance opportunity,” she said. “It’s one thing to perform in front of other members, but it’s another to perform in front of other people.”

Shrestha added that Valentine’s Day-themed open mics are “becoming an iSpeak tradition.” Last year, the event was held in Balfour but was moved to the Lyon’s Den for acoustic purposes.

Other traditional events were also hosted last week in honor of Valentine’s Day. The Wheatones sold “Valograms” from Feb. 9 to 10 in Balfour and Chase for up to ten hours each day. The event is held every year and provides as the main fundraiser for the Wheatones.

Students, staff and faculty were able to purchase a surprise performance of a song from a pre-selected six song bank for any individual of their choice. Phone calls were made for those off campus. Performances or “deliveries” of the song requests were on the following Monday and Tuesday.

“We go into people’s classes, we sing to people in the dining halls, we go to people’s rooms and people’s houses,” said Madi Cook-Comey ’19. “It’s really creepy but really funny at the same time.”

The Wheatones performed an average of one or two songs every 15 minutes on Monday and Tuesday. Given the time restraint, trips across campus had to be quick. “I think the most fun part of it is literally walking across campus, walking past the Dimple and singing in complete harmony to like ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’ and having people just like staring at you and be like ‘what of it?’” Cook-Comey said.

Preparation for the performances required memorization of three or four different parts for each of the six songs in the bank. Cook-Comey described it as “complicated but fun.” “I sat in my room and listened to them a lot, or I’d sing them in the shower,” she said.

Along with these various parts, the Wheatones would deliver messages or keep the messenger anonymous after each of the performances.

To conclude Wheaton’s Valentine’s week, students that aren’t particularly fond of the holiday were invited to a Bears, Bath Bombs, and Broken Hearts event last Saturday, Feb. 18 from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Located in the Balfour Atrium, students were welcome to make their own bath bombs, create their own aromatherapy bear and write their own valentines.