Hint: She wrote this article.
by EMMA GABBERT, CSU Public Relations Assistant
The first Galentine’s Day event was last year, on Feb. 13, 2019. But why did the Women’s Center sponsor this event?
The idea actually came from a female freshman that was eager to get involved on campus and meet new people. That freshman was me.
The term “Galentine’s Day” was created by the energetic, happy-go-lucky character Leslie Knope, from the TV show Parks and Recreation.
In season two of the series, Leslie Knope invites her girlfriends out to brunch and gives them presents, (most are handmade), to celebrate girl friendship.
Ever since I saw that episode, I spent Feb. 13 with my best friend from high school, celebrating the power of female friendship.
Depending on the day, we would either celebrate on the actual holiday (Feb. 13, the day before Valentine’s Day) or the closest weekend. We would meet at the same restaurant and catch up, no matter how busy we were.
We continued this tradition as we went into college, even though it was hard with her in Chicago. But nevertheless, we still made time for each other.
Our Galentine’s Day celebration varied from grabbing lunch before she went back to school, to eating a meal together over Facetime. I always cherish those moments because we are both so busy, but nevertheless, we set aside time for one another.
During my freshman year of college, I wanted to meet new people and have a fun time doing it. One day in February 2019, I went to the Women’s Center to hang out in between classes, when I ran into the director of the Women’s Center, Liz Steinborn-Gourley.
We began to chat about how our weekend went, upcoming events at the Women’s Center, etc. As I was about to leave, I asked if they had a Galentine’s Day event. She said she had heard of the holiday, but the Women’s Center had never had an event to celebrate it.
After she said this, I asked, “Do you think we could have one? I know it’s last-minute, but I think it would be a wonderful event to build female friendships on campus.”
After a brief consideration, she said: “Let’s do it.” Pleasantly surprised, we met the following week and began to create the event.
Then, finally, the day of the event arrived. We didn’t know how many people to expect, or if anyone cared about the event at all.
We were surprised and delighted to find that more than 50 women showed up over the course of the event. Students ate waffles, made arts and crafts and conversed with their favorite lady friends in the Women’s Center.
After the event was successful beyond our wildest thoughts, we knew we had to do it again, but this time, bigger and better than ever.
As the date approached once again, I met with Liz once again to discuss ideas for the event.
As I was thinking about things to add to the event to make it better than before, I had an idea.
What if Galentine’s Day featured women-centered recognized student organizations (RSOs)? Attendees could meet people from those groups and potentially join their organization.
I stuck with the idea and reached out to every woman-focused RSO on the Minnesota State University, Mankato campus. I didn’t expect all of them to participate or respond, but I was delighted to get eight organizations and/or departments to get on board.
So, working as a team, a group of strong-willed determined women came together to create an event to celebrate the bond of female friendship.