SCPC showers campus with flowers and arts

Volunteers assist students as they build their mini-bouquets of fresh flowers. Planned by SCPC’s Arts and Culture community, the event exposed attendees to an unconventional, floral art medium. // Photo by Tyler Parker Student Publications

On Monday, Feb. 12, the John Lewis Student Center’s Cypress Theater welcomed students to the Student Center Programs Council’s (SCPC) “Flower Festival.”

The new event, which allowed students to get in touch with their creative side, was hosted from 7-9 p.m.

With opportunities to make everything from fresh bouquets to origami flowers to floral bookmarks and cards, no student left the theater empty-handed.

Asiya Khan, second-year ISYE and Arts and Culture Chair with SCPC, explained the inspiration behind the event and its goals.

“The event was me and my committee’s idea that we put together. We planned out all the activities, purchased all the flowers, decorations, everything. We just wanted to make it fun and floral-themed,” Khan said.

The floral emphasis was something that students like Maulishri Bhandari, MS CS, appreciated. As an international student, Bhandari explained that the mini-bouquet station reminded her of a flower arrangement art style  she practiced in her childhood.

“Back in my school I used to have this thing called ikebana, which is a flower arrangement, and I love flowers, so I thought I might as well give it a shot,” Bhandari said.

Throughout the interview, it became clear that the event’s accomplishment of providing a wide range of art forms was fruitful, as Khan explained the planning process, which took the team over a month to execute.

“Arts and Culture’s mission is for students to have a creative outlet and to represent different cultures. This event is more art based, so it was supposed to be an event for students to come out and express their creativity through flowers, which is not a typical art medium,” Khan said.

Khan also explained that despite its proximity in date and content to Valentine’s Day, the event was not holiday themed and was “completely inclusive” to everyone. Many Jackets, like David Winters, MATH Ph.D., attended on a whim with friends to get a quick break from his busy day.

“I was just in the office late, working on some stuff and [my friend] Rahul told me about the event. I was like, ‘Sure, I’ll come over, do some origami,’” Winters said. Similar to Bhandari, Winters participated in the event’s festivities to return to the routine of a childhood hobby: “It’s fun. I used to do origami in high school, so it’s good to get back into it,” he said.

Other students in attendancelike Sydney Heaton, second-year INTA, who heard about the festival through SCPC’s instagram account advertisements (@gtscpc), used the pop-up opportunity to fulfill  more practical needs.

“The flowers in my room have been dying, so I wanted to get some new ones,” Heaton said.

With the theater full of Jackets buzzing from one station to the next, SCPC’s reputation for hosting far-reaching events that are well executed was upheld as students described their experience.

“I thought it was really organized. For the amount of people [in attendance], I think they’ve done a great job supplying and getting everyone in and out. In addition to the bouquet, I’m definitely going to make a card,” Heaton said.

While SCPC plans over 50 events for the Tech community including GT Night at Six Flags in the fall semester and Night at the Aquarium during the spring semester, these smaller, on-campus events provide students (and the surrounding community) with a momentary break from their busy daily routines. 

Unlike the larger events, the smaller ones are typically free of cost, open to all regardless of student status and allow attendees to take a small memory with them as they leave the experience.

Whether students were looking to reconnect with their childhood pastimes or find a reprieve from doctoral research, SCPC successfully delivered an enjoyable night for all, with the only constructive criticism the Technique received coming from Bhandari, who playfully explained that she would remove the limit on the number of fresh flowers individual students could take.