Southern dormitories host paint splatter party

Jessica GuerrucciManaging Editor

Students had the chance to add some color to their semester, meet new people, destress and make new friends, all while splattering paint onto canvases.

As a part of Southern’s Week of Welcome, Chase, Wilkinson, and Farnham Hall teamed up on Aug. 29 to hold a paint splatter party, during which students were given canvases and were encouraged to paint and design them however they liked. Erin Duff, the Chase Hall director, said it was a good opportunity for students to get out of their rooms and get to know each other.

“It can be awkward for first-year students, and we’ve all been there,” said Duff. “So, this is just a way of getting them outside their comfort zone to an event that they like and meet someone that they maybe wouldn’t have typically have met just within their own hall, because we’re teaming up with other halls too.”

Students did not have to be art majors to participate in this event. Computer science major Shayla Hill, a freshman, painted a river which she said was inspired by a Bob Ross episode she had seen at an event earlier that week. She also said she saw the event as an opportunity participate in a calming activity.

“I enjoy painting simply. Like, I enjoy all things creative, really, but painting is really just relaxing, and I can do it with friends,” said Hill.

While some stated the Week of Welcome was stressful and overwhelming, according to a study published in Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, titled “Reduction of Cortisol Levels and Participants’ Responses Following Art Making,” found that after 45 minutes of art-making, cortisol levels were lowered, meaning there was less stress in the body and mind.

The study said participants found the art-making session to be relaxing, enjoyable and helpful for learning about new aspects of the self. While undecided major Moenae Bryant, a freshman, said the week was overwhelming, she also said being able to paint was calming and helped her to meet new people.

“It makes me feel like I’m not a homebody,” said Bryant. “I’m usually always home; I’m not a social person- so it’s getting me out of my shell.”

Psychology major Hannah Smith, a freshman, said the event was a good opportunity to bring everyone together and helped her get out of her dorm.

“I like painting myself, so it just helps me meet people who also like painting as well- so we can find things in common,” said Smith.

Computer science major Navendra Newland, a freshman, said he chose to paint a sun because he is a morning person and wanted to put his feelings into something he could hang up on his wall.

“One of my favorite things to look at is just the sun when it rises,” said Newland. “So, right now, my painting is just the sun in the sky with some clouds around it, because that’s like my favorite type of weather.”

Newland said he did not expect to see many more events on campus after the Week of Welcome concludes, but said there will still be fun elements to look forward throughout the year. Being a freshman, he said that events like the paint splatter party help make people like himself feel more at ease in a new environment.

“When you first come in it’s kind of weird; you don’t know much about your surroundings,” said Newland. “Especially for someone who is way out of state or from a whole other county, and it makes you feel a little bit more welcome.”


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