IOSSA hosting Valentine’s Day Event

Chloe Stewart

While pink and red hearts adorn hallways and stores offer discounts on chocolates and roses, the INTO OSU Student Success Association is getting ready to host their annual Valentine’s Day event.

This year, IOSSA will be kicking off the Valentine’s Day weekend with their annual party this evening starting at 5p.m. in ILLC 345 and ILLC 347. According to the student organizers, the primary goal of the event is to allow students an opportunity to make new friends and meet new people.

According to Jianchenyang “Will” Zhang, president of IOSSA, cultural boundaries can sometimes make it difficult to meet new people. According to Zhang, it is not unusual for neighbors to be complete strangers in his home country of China.

“When I first came to INTO, I felt very lonely. It’s not common for us to knock on the next door to just introduce yourself,” Zhang said.

IOSSA is a student organization that seeks to provide international students with support both academically and socially. In order to support students, the IOSSA puts on a variety of events that allow international students to connect with each other, university faculty and American culture.

According to Trinh Trinh, one of the event coordinators at IOSSA involved in planning this year’s event, everyone is invited—international students and domestic students, couples and singles, the more the merrier.

“Anyone can come,” Trinh said. “Couples can come, singles can come, anyone. We want them to set aside the stereotypes for a night.”

According to Rodney, one of the event coordinators for IOSSA, events like this one are a fun and valuable social experience. Rodney attended the Valentine’s Day event last year and, after seeing how the event brought people together, decided that he wanted to become part of IOSSA so that he could be part of planning events in the future. This year, he is one of the event coordinators in charge of the Valentine’s Day event.

“I used to be very shy and really reserved, so when I heard about (last year’s Valentine’s Day event), I thought maybe I could go and meet some people and make some friends,” Rodney said. “If I never went to this event, I wouldn’t have made nearly so many friends.”

According to Trinh, this year there will be more games and more focus on the experience of Valentine’s Day. The event will feature games, dancing and talks about romance and how the U.S. celebrates Valentine’s Day. A number of the games will be making a comeback from last year’s party, including the popular love confession game. Each attendee is given a piece of paper and pencil so that they may write an anonymous compliment or love letter for whoever they choose—possibly someone in the room or possibly someone back home. Once everyone is done, the IOSSA staff will read all of the notes out loud to the rest of the group.

According to Zhang, the event will be a valuable cultural experience as well as a valuable social experience.

“We do it to make them happy but also to learn from them,” Zhang said. “Students from other cultures can share what Valentine’s Day is like for them, too.”