Oct 15, 2019
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Student participants Jocelyn Ramirez (left) and Jackalene Viranco (right) use various colors of paint as they focus on the details for their designed gumball machines during University Student Union Productions' Crafts Night at the lower level of the University Student Union on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019. (Jennifer Reyes/The Collegian)

Students decorate gum ball machines at Crafts Night

University Student Union (USU) Productions held its first Craft Night event of the semester on Sept. 10 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Bulldog Zone. 

These Craft Night (DIYs) events are for students to spend an evening with other students to create friendships in a campus environment. 

“This event, and any event in particular, it just creates another venue for students to get involved. I think it is really important for students to find their niche on campus … a lot of students just go to classes and then go back home, and that sometimes becomes a cycle and can become draining,” said Alejandra Prado, coordinator of events, programs and assessments for USU Productions. “This is like an outlet to relax and find something new.”

Every year, USU Productions members attend a conference joined by production groups from other universities. The idea for crafting nights was developed from researching and gathering ideas from other campuses but was also recommended by past USU Productions teams. 

The team aims to bring students together with high energy and friendliness toward the students. During the event, members from USU Productions had been walking around speaking to both individual students, as well as larger groups seated at tables. 

“I am a freshman this year, and, so far, I have attended all events hosted by the USU Productions,” said Karen Carrillo, a criminology major. “The people who organize these events are always so friendly.” 

The event consisted of creating a DIY gumball machine that used terracotta pots. Students turned the pots upside down and placed a plastic bowl on top and used assorted paints and markers to decorate their own gumball machines. 

The event consisted of creating DIY gum ball machines that used terracotta pots. Students turned the pots upside down and placed a plastic bowl on top and used assorted paints and markers to decorate their own gum ball machines. 

The versatility of the gum ball machine allowed it to be converted into a candy holder, a piggy bank or anything else that interested the students. 

The versatility of the gumball machine allowed it to be converted into a candy holder, a piggy bank or anything else that interested the students. 

Carrillo said she thinks that all students should attend school events, because it is a way to network with others, find new hobbies and take advantage of great opportunities.

USU Productions has hosted Craft Nights since the academic year 2017-2018.

“I recently found out that [someone] had first gotten involved during a Craft Night, a first event that they had gone to alone,” Prado said. “On Traditions Day, they told me that they actually found a friend on Craft Night, and they have been going to every Craft Night since they first met last year. They still keep in touch, and I thought that was really cool.” 

USU Productions is a campus student programming board that creates a variety of  events for students to participate in and break away from their school/work routine.

It will host other events, such as Bulldog Wednesday on Oct. 2, Game Show night on Oct. 3 and National Student Day on Oct. 17.

The team is always open to suggestions from students if they have any feedback on what kind of DIYs they would like to make during Craft Nights, and how often these events should take place during the semester, Prado said.

She recommended students leave a comment or any suggestions for the USU Productions team to take into account on its Facebook page. By doing this, the team will be able to better cater events to the interests of the students, she said.

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