Students gather together to paint and chat

Sarah SheltonFeatures Editor

On Wednesday Sept. 1, students had the opportunity to de-stress by adding some paint into their college lives.

The University Access Program (UAP) held an event called “Paint and Chat.”

Their OwlConnect said: “come tap into your creative side and enjoy a space for painting your next masterpiece and making new friends. You can follow the lead of the instructor or do your own thing!”

Gabriela Vazquez, UAP graduate intern, was the instructor for the night. She was helping students paint an owl.

“For Week of Welcome, we wanted to do something to bring our students back together

in the UAP cohort. So we figured, why not have a paint night? Because our grad intern is a wonderful artist,” Kyle Augustine, UAP advocate and graduate intern, said.

Health science major Janee Byrd, a sophomore, said she was following the lead of the instructor to paint an owl.

She also said she has not had many experiences with events because of COVID-19.

“I was a freshman [last year], so I didn’t even know they had events like

this,” Byrd said.

Byrd also said she will be participating in more events like this through- out the semester now that she knows these types of events exist.

Other students, such as special education major Gean Barron, a sophomore, agreed it was nice to have in-person events again.

“It’s a good social thing,” Barron said as they started painting a sun- flower. “It’s a thing to get you out and do some- thing that isn’t school-related.”

Public health major Angela Corsino, a sophomore, said she decided not to follow the instructor, but was not sure what to paint at first.

“I’m doing my own thing. I’m going to paint a little fish that’s holding a shark fin above the water, because I saw it on Pinterest and thought it was cute,” Corsino said. “I wasn’t sure what to make for this, so I went online.”

Psychology major Jaydin James, a freshman, did not get to start his painting due to his class schedule, but still showed up to give his support.

“I was going to paint, but I have class at 5,” James said. The event started at 4:30 p.m.

“I didn’t want to start and not be able to finish because we have to let it air dry before we start drawing the owl,” James said.

James said he might take the canvas home to paint, but he was mainly there to show his support since he is part of UAP.

“I’ve never been really good at art,” James said. “But I feel like certain things like this, like painting, if you enjoy it it’s a really good outlet. It’s a good healthy way to vent out some stress, talk to some people, and it’s also a good way to network also because networking is important when you’re on a college campus.”

James said he is trying to go to as many Week of Welcome events as possible to meet as many new people as he can so he does not have to feel alone on campus. He is looking forward to more events, specifically through the University Access Program— which Augustine said will happen.

“I did a lot of events before COVID and when COVID happened, we switched to virtual, and we didn’t have a lot of students that attended that,” Augustine said. “It’s  good to have on-campus stuff again and we have a lot of good events coming up—looking forward to sharing that to our Instagram account @SCSUUAP. 

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