Remember that old elementary school tradition of bringing 20-something valentines into school for all your classmates, whether or not you actually liked them? Well, in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, you could have done the same by creating your own valentines. Between Feb. 8 and Feb. 12, the Commuter Lounge hosted a workshop to make valentines for friends, family or for that special someone. This event was just one of the events that student groups held in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day is a day where people exchange cards and gifts with loved ones, go out on dates and share romantic or platonic love. The holiday, which has little significant meaning in the U.S other than gifts and dates, is also a religious holiday in a few sects of Christianity. However, as most students have grown to know, it is not a public holiday and does not result in any public closings.
University of Maine students seem to appreciate the excuse to eat chocolate, as well as the opportunity to socialize with other singles. Students also think that, in theory, the holiday does carry an important message: love those who are special to you.
With that being said, there are many students and people who feel like the holiday has little actual importance.
“I think the idea is nice but I also think it can be a bit over the top and that there shouldn’t be a specific day that you show people how much you love them,” third-year student Marisa Tandy said.
A gripe that is heard much of the time around this season, from both those celebrate and those who don’t, is that commercialism has changed the meaning of the holiday. Though businesses did not create the holiday itself, Valentine’s Day has become one of the most important days of the year for jewelry and card stores. The sense that the holiday is now a money-making scheme for businesses is evident, especially in settings as cynical as college campuses.
The Commuter Lounge hosts many events throughout the year, including a monthly pancake breakfast, which is a highlight for those who have classes in the morning. The Lounge is open Monday through Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Located on the ground floor of the Memorial Union in the Wade Center, the Commuter Lounge has microwave ovens, a toaster, a can opener and a refrigerator for student use.