V-day plans that won’t break the bank



Flower bouquets are on sale at Hy-vee, running as low as $5. Jamal White, junior marketing management major, recommended buying flowers or a teddy bear as a gift for your valentine

LEZIGA BARIKOR, Campus Life Editor | [email protected]

So, you’ve spent your last dollar on second semester textbooks and missed the deadline to end your New Year’s gym membership fee, but Valentine’s Day is still just right around the corner. Whether or not you plan to celebrate with a significant other or your best friends, there are still some things in life that are free — or at least affordable enough to help you get in the spirit of the holiday.

Sophomore communications and public relations major Abbey Cornett suggests students don’t even need to leave campus to celebrate Valentine’s Day with their significant other.

“Take a fake candle to the dining center,” said Cornett. She said this is a way for students to spice up the usual daily experience of in school dining without breaking the bank on eating out or having to make reservations somewhere fancy.

Cornett also suggested that students utilize the free movies available in their residence halls if they live on campus. As a resident of Rider Hall, she can attest to the variety of selections to choose from.

Hannah McDermott, junior interactive digital studies major, suggests another way to celebrate Valentine’s Day is to “celebrate late or early.”

College students in particular can wait and have a movie date on Tuesday when the $5 dollar movie deal is in effect at the College Square Theater, she said. McDermott also mentioned doing something as simple as getting Scratch Cupcakes, which cost only about $2.

UNI’s event calendar lists a couple of weekend events on campus that students can enjoy for free as well. The International Student Association is hosting a “Masquerade Ball” Valentine’s Dance in the Slife Ballroom in the Commons on Friday.

The Black Student Union has been putting on a number of free events for students in honor of Black History Month, and this weekend includes a 90’s Skate Party.

The event will be held in the Wellness and Recreation Center and the roller skates are already provided for. Students will be able to enjoy music, 90’s trivia and participate in contests for best dressed and best skater.

“The skate party is a fun event for couples to come out and have a great time with their partners,” said Melanie Majeed, sophomore marketing management major.

On Thursday from 5-8 p.m., Main Street in Cedar Falls is hosting a Downtown Delights event. At participating stores, there will be complimentary samples of fine wines and decadent chocolates; some stores will even have exclusive Valentine’s Day deals.

Some of the participating stores include: Basket of Daisies, Chocolaterie Stam, Cobblestone Creek, Kate & Co., Sassy Chic, LUNA Art + Wine and Main Street Sweets, as well as 20 others that can be found on the Community Main Street website.

For those in the mood for classical music, there will be a free afternoon concert featuring UNI professor Dmitri Vorobiev.

This Castle Chamber Series: Music in the Afternoon piano performance will be held in the Hagemann Castle Room at Wartburg College. Vorobiev says he will be performing works by Chopin, Schubert, Beethoven and Scribin.

If classical music isn’t your taste, there is also the fourth annual Light in the Darkness free concert.

The featured artist, Manic Drive, is a Canadian Christian rock band with multiple Billboard Top 10 & 20 singles on the Christian Rock charts, according to the New Release Today website.

Manic Drive will be performing at the Heartland Vineyard Church at 6:30 p.m. as part of their VIP Tour and will have Tiffany Sinko as their opening act, according to the Country Side Vineyard website.

In terms of looking for the perfect affordable gift for that special someone, some students offered their personal advice.

“Flowers are really cheap at like HyVee, Walmart … get a teddy bear,” said Jamal White, junior marketing management major. “Chocolates [are] always great, as long as they’re not allergic or anything.”

Taylor Olson, senior computer science major, suggested giving a gift that requires some creativity.

“Try to do some arts and crafts type of thing,” Olson said. Olson points out that students can use on campus resources for things like that. He also commented on how most people enjoy receiving a gift like that, where there is thought put into it.

Some people have made plans with their friends rather than significant others this year. Meredith Miller, sophomore communication and public relations major, is celebrating at the GBPAC.

“In the evening, I’m going to see ‘Annie’ with my friend, Emily,” Miller said. “So we’re going to have a good time together.”

For UNI students who have not used their two free GBPAC tickets yet, now would be the time to see “Annie.” According to the UNI calendar, the performance of this world-renowned family feel-good musical this Valentine’s Day will be the perfect treat for musical theater fans.

Some students like John Mejia, sophomore, don’t have any plans to celebrate, wheras some are faced with distance limitations like Laura Anderson, junior biology major.

“I’m having a Skype date with my boyfriend who is in Missouri with the Marines,” said Anderson.

While the timing of Valentine’s Day does not always work out, there’s still going to be heart-shaped chicken nuggets in the dining center on Monday, as well as discounted candy. So maybe that’s all students really need.

Whether you’re celebrating with friends, a significant other or just by yourself, UNI has quite a few options to choose from that won’t leave your wallet crying.