LOVE was in the air for everyone on Valentine’s Day, celebrated last week, including by the campus fraternity. At universities and colleges around the globe, student associations organised many events to celebrate the day to spread love among students and academic faculties.
In Malaysia, students showed their love of community on campus during the day. It came in the form of volunteering, relationship awareness, as well as organising simple and fun activities with friends.
Nottingham University in Malaysia organised a talk on relationships, themed “But the Greatest of All is Love”, on Feb 8.
According to Vinsensius Felix Putra Andy, or fondly known as Felix, the talk was on the introduction of tools to conduct moral reasoning and judgment, which is the basis for true Catholic relationships.
“We decided to choose this topic so that our members are exposed to these concepts, especially since it is Valentine’s Day and this could be in the minds of people. The talk was led by Father Clarence Devadass, a Catholic priest,” said Felix, who is the chairman of the Catholic Student’s Society.
Felix, 21, who is in Year 3 of Pharmaceutical and Health Sciences, said as the event served to deepen the moral understanding on relationships, they could support their friends who are dating; by encouraging them if they are on the right track or advise them if they are not.
“Furthermore, the Catholic community on campus will benefit from the talk as well, as moral judgment is important to strengthen our faith so that we do not fall into immoral and unethical relationships.”
Hani Nadhirah Azaman, 20, said Nottingham Malaysia students are very supportive of each other. Thus, she grabbed this opportunity to organise a Valentine’s Day event “Love. Enactus Valentine’s Day Sales” by using Enactus UNMC as a platform to execute the event.
The main purpose of the Valentine’s Day sales event was to spread love and also encourage self-love.
“The Valentine’s Day event was a collaboration with the university’s student association, in which we sold gift packages consisting of a combination of fresh rose, helium balloon, a box of chocolates and a card.
“Students and staff could pre-order their choice of gift package via our promotional booth the week before and a few days before the actual event day,” said Hani Nadhirah.
Enactus UNMC also provided free delivery service with self-written message on the card for a personal touch.
“On Feb 14, we sold the same items to ensure that students who did not get a chance to pre-order them could buy something for their significant others,” she added.
She believes that the event would make the sender and recipient feel special and strengthen the bond between partners, friends and even between students and lecturers.
“Spreading love will radiate positive vibes around the campus. To achieve this goal, our main objective was to sell as many gift packages as a token of appreciation among students and lecturers.”
Shahrrathey Laxme Balasubaramaniam, 23, from SEGi College Subang Jaya, organised an event called #itsOK2bSingle, to promote the ideology of love is for all and not only for couples.
Among the activities are Valentine’s performance, games on speed dating, sales of roses, baked goods, scented rose soap, free make-up session and a Valentine’s photo booth.
“We tried to reinforce the idea that single people should not feel bad about not having a partner and to promote self-love and appreciate what we have.
“If given another chance next year, we would like to throw a Valentine’s Splash Party for singles and couples,” she said.
Taylor’s University Community Service Initiatives (CSI) Volunteers vice-president Rachel Wong Pui Ee, 20, said being a communication student at Taylor’s University added value to her involvement in community-centric events as she was able to use critical thinking and elements of mass communications in the planning process.
“Although they can be challenging, as it takes a lot of time and a lot of effort, I stand firm on the belief that passion is key in helping me develop my skills through experience and, more importantly, contribute to the less fortunate.
“This is where I am able to evaluate what the less privileged needed and how exactly we can cater to their needs,” said the first-year student in Mass Communication (Public Relations and Marketing).
Rachel said its current project, “One-Stop Centre: New Year, New Clothes”, revolves around the idea of giving and spreading love, as well as positivity.
She said the recent launch of the CSI One-Stop Centre started CSI’s efforts to serve as a collection centre for donated goods and a platform to enquire about CSI Volunteers and community service for the Taylor’s community.
The “One-Stop Centre: New Year, New Clothes” project’s purpose is to donate unworn and pre-loved clothes to underprivileged children through CSI Volunteers and kick-start the One-Stop Centre’s efforts.
“Additionally, a visitation will be made to the children’s home to conduct some activities and give clothes to them.
“If we are able to enjoy our festive seasons, it is only fair that the less privileged communities are able to do so as well.
“This project is also aimed at shedding light to our One-Stop Centre, where we want to let the community know that they can donate or give back to the community all-year-round.
“We encourage the Taylor’s community to donate necessities and spread love through this platform.
“From previous CSI activities, I believe that everyone can agree that the most rewarding thing is to see the smiles on the faces of our beneficiaries.
“Spreading love is not only in the form of monetary gifts or quantity, it is the initiative, the mindset, the heart and how we can be an inspiration to them, as well as be inspired by them,” she said.
BLOOM co-founder Marcus Liaw Jia Yoong, 21, said he and his partner Kelly Siaw started up an online florist, BLOOM, to allow everyone to show their forever lasting love through affordable and top quality bear bouquet.
“In conjunction with Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year, I approached CSI to collaborate as I was intrigued by the ‘New Year, New Clothes’ project.
“Since Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year are just few days apart, it would be good opportunity for BLOOM and CSI to collaborate and contribute to orphans who would need new clothes for the festive season.
“The collaboration served as a reminder for Taylor’s students that they should never forget how blessed they are in this festive season.
“By purchasing bear bouquets from BLOOM, they can show their forever lasting love to the orphans as part of the proceeds will be donated to purchase clothes for the children, especially infants.
“It was a very pleasant moment when students willingly purchased the bouquets not only to present them to their partners, but to support this initiative as well.
“I was overwhelmed when one of the students paid extra and encouraged me to keep up the good work. At that moment, I told myself that I should never stop giving back to society no matter where I am and what I am doing”.