Valentine’s Day should be a holiday for all to celebrate. But as Ariella Louna ’17, president of the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance (FMLA) remarked on Monday, Feb. 13, the holiday often represents only white, heterosexual love. In fact, many individuals can be excluded from Valentine’s Day even if for the simple fact that going on fancy dates and buying elaborate presents excludes those who cannot afford to show their love through their wallets.
Valentine’s Day is not a lost cause for FMLA, however. The group hosted the event Galentine’s Day, which promoted an alternative form of love—the all-important friendships between and among women. After throwing on a name tag and taking a seat at the festively decorated table, scattered with mini candy bars over a Valentine’s-themed tablecloth, attendees could take advantage of gel pens and blank valentines and write free cards to anyone, which were delivered straight to their campus mailboxes.
As the valentines were crafted, visitors could enjoy freshly made waffles and chat with friends. FMLA offered a warm and friendly environment for strangers and friends alike to spend time together.
For the final activity of the evening, FMLA hosted “friend speed-dating” in which strangers would rotate seats until they were across from a new partner, and they would respond to questions posed by the FMLA E-board. Some of the questions asked included, “What is the strangest food you’ve ever eaten?” “What is the next book on your list of books to read?” or even, “If you were a meme, what meme would you be? If you were an emoji, what emoji would you be?” Fun and lighthearted, the questions sparked conversations with new faces that reminded us of the joys of making new friends.
“I think the event went great. We had a great group of people come out and enjoy the waffles and speed-friending, creating a wholesome environment for everyone involved. It was one of our most successful Galentine’s Days yet,” remarked FMLA Public Relations Chair Swati Kaushik ’19.
While FMLA has been hosting Galentine’s Day for many years, this year is the first to have fallen on the official Galentine’s Day, Feb. 13. Those in attendance seemed delighted to have met new Brandeis students who shared their love for promoting strong, positive female friendships.