By Alexander Osornio, Oct. 19, 2021
The Cal Poly Pomona Library Club gathered students for a virtual Spooky Arts and Crafts Night which included an intimate viewing of the classic Halloween film “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and pumpkin painting on Oct. 6.
Club Vice President Natali Carmona helped organize the event with her prior experience as a library student assistant at Cal State Dominguez Hills in which she organized coloring events for students during midterm season. She noted students benefited from relaxing and participating in engaging activities during periods of high stress.
Unlike most virtual events on campus, the Library Club typically hosts virtual events on its Discord server rather than Zoom. Carmona says this choice of platform helps students feel more at ease due to Discord’s more informal and casual user experience.
“A lot of the time, I push Discord because we don’t have to have our cameras on, we don’t even have to have our mics on,” she said. “We can just watch a movie, do crafts and it just feels like a really good time.”
Students who signed up in advance for the event were provided with free arts and crafts supplies which included a coloring page, paint and a blank pumpkin for students to use as their canvas. Much like the Bob Ross night the club hosted last spring, the club ensured attendees had materials to participate. Participants were encouraged to share their creations on the club’s Discord server.
While watching the movie, students lit up the Discord chat with progress photos of their painted pumpkins and coloring sheets. Several attendants had not seen “The Nightmare Before Christmas” before, thus making the event both a welcome introduction to a Halloween classic and a relaxing art session.
Other members of the e-board shared these sentiments on Discord as a platform for events. Club President, Dannielle Cabrera, recognizes online platforms as a choice for students who want to stay involved with the campus community but without the inconveniences of in-person meetings.
Students who attended the event felt similarly in regard to this choice of platform. Political science major had never used Discord for a club event, but she felt the platform complimented the nature of the crafts night.
“The chat was more easily accessible than on Zoom, and especially with them playing a movie, you could chime in when you wanted to,” she said.
Additionally, the informal nature of the event helped students feel more at ease with their busy lives. Business student Sanika Gavankar, a full-time student taking five classes and member of the CPP Student Management Investment Fund e-board, was grateful for the chance to partake in a relaxing activity with fellow students.
“For me…just to take an hour to watch a movie and do something other than work was really helpful,” she said.
For the time being, the Library Club plans on continuing to conduct events over Discord. However, Carmona notes the value in-person events could have for students studying or researching in the library.
She adds that Library Club events typically do not go on for longer than an hour, so being able to host an event for students already in the building would be helpful to those looking to distract themselves from their studies for a while.
“We’re not just there to talk about books…rather, it’s there for students to have a good time,” said Carmona.
Featured image courtesy of Marilu Salcedo.