As the sun set on Doak Walker Plaza outside Ford Stadium, undergraduate students gathered for the first annual Love Bites anti-Valentine’s event. Red tables with chocolate lava cakes, chocolate-covered strawberries and small candies were available to event attendees. There were also tables for bouquet-making, spray-painting and card-making activities.
Picnic tables decorated with red and black balloons gave students plenty of room to sit, socialize and enjoy their sweet treats. Students laughed and sang along with upbeat music as their voices echoed off of nearby Armstrong commons.
Despite being marketed as an anti-Valentine’s event and emphasizing that love can bite, the mood was festive and upbeat.
“The purpose of love bites is to attract not only those who have dates this Valentine’s, but to also give the singles an event to look forward to as well,” said event coordinator Alyssa Ceballos. “More than anything, we hope it is an outlet for people to meet each other and simply come together to have fun.”
Due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, socializing and meeting new people has been especially challenging for new students. As SMU continues to adjust and pivot to tackle this issue, outdoor events have been encouraged so that students have opportunities to interact in person.
“I see a lot of people walking by and in my classes, but I don’t really have time to interact with them,” said undergraduate student Drishti Sachdeva.
“This is one of the places where I see them outside of classroom and I can reach out you know, have a conversation, get their number,” she said.
Program Council has been working on Love Bites since the beginning of the year and anticipated a decent turnout. At 5 pm, there was a long line of students eager to go in.
“Throughout winter break, we would hop onto Group FaceTime calls to talk logistics and exactly what we wanted for this event,” Ceballos said.
“When we got back on campus, we immediately started shopping and collaborating for this event.”
The event was received well, especially by first-year students. Many students immediately flocked to the giant LED sign that read “Luv Bites.” Overall, the turnout was strong, and the theme was popular among students.
“This is the best event we’ve been to this year,” said undergraduate student Diandra DiNucci. “I love the idea of anti-Valentine’s, this event isn’t just for one residential area its open for the whole community.”