validation card photo
The Peace Studies program has a tradition of making “validation cards” for people in the major and community.
Photo provided by Virginia Rendler

Manchester Students Spread Love, Kindness on Valentine’s Day

Kelsey Tyler

Valentine’s Day at Manchester was pink and hearts all over, with multiple Valentine’s themed events on campus for students to enjoy.

One took place in the Intercultural Center on Monday, February 8, where Hispandos Unidos presented “Valentine’s Day and Carnations.” At this event students were taught about the Latin history of Valentine’s Day, as well as made carnations for their loved ones.

Another event Manchester hosted included a take-home Valentine’s day dinner for a student and their honey. “The dinner provided was better than normal meals in Haist, and it was extra special to be able to set it up in my own dorm room, COVID safe as well, for a friend and me, said Ben Miles, sophomore. “The cheesecake was absolutely amazing. It made me feel like Manchester cares about my happiness and personal life.”

Manchester is famous for its Peace Studies department, and the Peace Studies Department is famous on campus for their Validation day celebration. “Valentine’s day is often a wonderful celebration of romantic love, but there are so many types of love in our life that deserve to be celebrated as well,” said Peace Studies coordinator Virginia Rendler. “We use validation cards to celebrate the love we have for each other as members of the same community.”

Everyone involved with the Peace Studies program, whether they are a major or not, gets a blank card. Then, every member of the community writes some kind words or validations that they want to share with that person. On Feb. 14, the cards are distributed. “Everyone gets to know how much they are appreciated by their fellow classmates and friends,” Rendler said.

The Peace Studies Lounge, the hangout spot on campus for the entire Peace Studies community, is where the Validation signing takes place. It usually lasts about a week, leading up to Valentine’s Day. “Activities like this, where we have a devoted space to complement each other and empower one another, is just one of the many ways that we build a strong community,” Rendler said. “Validation Day has always been a day that I look forward to in Peace Studies, and I hope it’s a tradition that continues for a really, really long time.”

Some students took their Valentine’s celebrations off Manchester’s campus. Myah Krintz, sophomore, said that she travelled to Fort Wayne on Valentine’s weekend. “My boyfriend and I got all dressed up and went to Olive Garden,” she said. “It was really fun to get off of campus and celebrate our relationship.”

Chloe Leckrone, junior, said that they enjoyed Valentine’s day in the comfort of their own home. “I spent the day with my dog,” they said. “I baked heart shaped cookies, and then ate them all while watching Netflix.”

Emily Ewen, a fifth year who is currently student teaching, says that she celebrated “Galentine’s Day” with her best girlfriends. “A few of my friends and I just got together and had a good time,” she said “We got dressed up really nice for coffee at Kenapocoamocha in town, and just enjoyed each other’s company.

According to Manchester students, then the events on campus made this year’s Valentine’s Day special, even in this COVID season. It was also clear, after talking with students, that there are a number of easy drives off campus for special date nights or hang outs.