By Michael Yu, Feb. 22, 2022

As Valentine’s Day swept through the campus, many students celebrated the holiday in unique ways. From eating at a favorite restaurant with their partner to helping fundraise for a club, students across the Cal Poly Pomona campus found their own special way to spread the love.

One of the ways that many people celebrate Valentine’s Day is by spending quality time with a significant other. Industrial engineering major Samantha Lai shared her and her boyfriend Elias Jarman’s, a chemical engineering major, Valentine’s Day tradition.

“I am a big believer that you win someone’s heart through their stomach,” expressed Lai. “There is this ramen and sushi place we went to for our first date, and now it has become a tradition where we get food from there every year.”

Lai also shared that during past Valentine’s she would often give Sweethearts candies to people who did not have anyone to celebrate with as a way of spreading the love during the holiday.

While Valentine’s Day may be known as a light-hearted holiday, its origins paint a darker picture. The story tells of when the Roman Emperor Claudius II banned marriages, and how the mysterious Saint Valentine worked to arrange them in secret; an act which ended up with him being thrown in jail. Before being executed, the Saint left a final letter to his love declaring “From your Valentine,” inspiring a holiday that would be celebrated for decades to come.

Valentine’s Day is not just a day to celebrate people’s romantic partners, but also to celebrate all the loved ones in their lives from family to friends. Computer science major Quinn Benitez expressed how she and her family would celebrate the holiday.

“I would make as many red and heart-shaped foods I could, like pasta, macaroons, cookies and more,” said Benitez. “I also celebrate with my family every year, and they give me gifts like cards, jewelry and chocolate.”

Another way that people celebrate Valentine’s Day is through buying treats and gifts for their loved ones. From heart-shaped boxes full of chocolate to bouquets of flowers, Valentine’s Day is a day full of consumerism and an opportunity for organizations and clubs to gather funds.

The CPP Mexican American Student Association is a student-ran club dedicated to supporting students of every race and helping them reach their full potential. This year, the MASA held a fundraiser outside the campus library, selling Valentine’s Candygrams to grow their club.

“We would gather flowers and candies to make a specialized card to give out during Valentine’s Day to help raise funds for the club,” said MASA member Ana Sanchez, a mechanical engineering student. “It will help us better help students and provide a safe space for them to flourish.”

The grams sold by MASA were made with daisies and various other flowers that were cut down to five or six inches, then attached with a card containing either a personalized note or a meme.

Valentine’s Day is a special day to celebrate all the loved ones in people’s life, from family members to a romantic partner.  Whether its eating at a favorite restaurant or getting gifts from family members, the students at CPP all have their own distinct way to commemorate their loved ones.

“During Valentine’s Day I saw many students giving flowers to their loved ones,” said Lai. “It was really special to see students sharing the love on the campus.”

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