East Celebrates Valentine’s Day

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A pie chart from our survey.

By Angelina Tang

Happy Valentine’s Day, East! February 14th is the iconic day of love, chocolate, teddy bears, and red roses galore. In honor of that, we at the East Side News conducted a survey regarding the holiday. Here is what we’ve found.

Out of the 179 responses we received, 69% of students said they did not have a Valentine this year, while approximately 31% lucky individuals do. Whether or not that means 27 happy couples answered our survey, we will never know… Regardless, we wish that 31% good things and a happy Wednesday. As for our single folks, take the day to enjoy some self-love and also to hang out with friends and family!

East is almost perfectly split on the flower to chocolate preference, with quite literally one tiebreaker person choosing chocolates over flowers to make a 49.7% to 50.3% split. If you’re part of the half that likes flowers–or part of the chocolate group, really; flowers never hurt, do they?–then make sure you bring cash and check out the STUCO Carnation Sale! It’s $2.00 per flower, available only on Valentine’s Day in the Commons. Buy a flower or two for your Valentine or friends to make their day. Or, buy them to throw on the stage after the Unity in Diversity performance. The choice is yours.

As for other gifting preferences–73.2% like red roses, while 26.8% think they’re overrated. Similarly, 77.7% like teddy bears, while 22.3% think they’re cliche. Perhaps there is some overlap between the two minorities? A fact about both of these items that nobody can deny, however, is that they become hyper-expensive the days leading up to Valentine’s Day. If you didn’t preorder… good luck.

Valentine’s Day, as of late, has become a bit of a topic of debate. Its intended meaning as the holiday of romance and love has become overshadowed by its intense commercial appeal, as a variety of plushies, chocolates, and all things red have overtaken the shelves at stores like Target, Walmart, and Hobby Lobby. Of course, this is true of all holidays, but we don’t see this same kind of enthusiasm for Thanksgiving or Saint Patrick’s Day, for instance. 27.4% say that they thought the holiday is over-commercialized, to the point where it cheapens the love it’s supposed to recognize, while 72.6% think this takeover of our consumer culture with Valentine’s propaganda is part of the fun, as it spreads the theme across town to the point where you’re forced to get into the happy spirit of things.

Many people also offered their own thoughts on whether or not the holiday should be pushed so strongly on social media and in stores into people’s faces, as some online have said it’s disconcerting and it ends up being a touchy subject for those currently facing relationship issues. Some include, “I love the holiday, but I don’t think it needs to be pushed so much on society and social media,” “If you’re single during Valentine’s Day it can be a pretty sad holiday,” “Love should be celebrated every day, not made into a dumb holiday just to make money,” “The more people advertise their love on social media, the less genuine it seems,” “No, I am alone,” “No, if I cant be happy no one canecrtyu7ki8l9o;0-0,” “People shouldn’t feel touchy about a holiday,” and “I hate corporate lobbyists bribing the government to push their agenda.”

Finally, in regards to V-Day plans, 47 individuals are going out on a date–lucky you!–while a larger proportion of students are just hanging out with friends or relaxing on their own. In addition, 37% of our respondents are performing in the Unity in Diversity show, which is during an extended 7th period on Valentine’s Day. Joy! We hope to hear you all cheering at the performance.

East has a diverse range of opinions regarding this holiday, and it has been enjoyable getting to read them all and learn everyone’s perspectives on the holiday. We at the East Side News wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day–a day of happiness, no matter if you have a Valentine or not.