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SMC celebrates ‘Support a Belle’ event with movie on Le Mans Green

| Monday, September 24, 2018

The typically silent Le Mans Green was bustling with noise Sunday evening when the Saint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA) and the Student Activities Board hosted a movie night complete with frozen yogurt, t-shirts and popcorn. Students came to the front of Saint Mary’s signature building to celebrate sisterhood and friendship with a showing of the modern day retelling of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” in the movie “She’s The Man.”

Juniors Olivia Allen and Haley Mitchell were part of SGA’s Social Concern Committee, which organized the event. The celebration was hosted in honor of Support a Belle, Love a Belle, which used to be a week-long series of events involving snacks and t-shirts at different points in the week. This year, however, all of the small events were combined into one large occasion.

Colleen Fischer | The Observer
Saint Mary’s students gathered on Le Mans Green Sunday night to celebrate the “Support a Belle, Love a Belle” event. The occasion aimed to emphasize sisterhood and community between students.

“The motto of student government this year was to go big, so we took that as not doing five events or six events throughout the week and really make one big event that we feel would encompass a lot of the girls in the student body,” Allen said. “That would get a lot of [the girls] here instead of having 30 girls show up to this event and 15 show up [to another]. We can really appeal to a lot of girls by doing a movie, fro-yo [and] popcorn all at one event. We just wanted to go big for everyone.”

The reconstruction of the event also caused a greater singular turn-out, Mitchell said.

“It’s better from years past because most of us lay around on Sundays,” Mitchell said. “You have had a week of going, going, going and it’s a perfect time to spend time with your friends, to spend time with your classmates instead of trying to find time on a Wednesday evening to go to an event. It really opens up the community. “

While the event used to take place in a variety of the dorms and academic buildings on campus, this year the event took place on Le Mans Green. Organizers thought this decision would encourage more students to attend.

“Having it on Le Mans Green means that everyone can see it and it will make more people come out,” sophomore Becca Klaybor said.

From camaraderie to free food, attendees were motivated by different factors after hearing about the event in a variety of ways.

“I heard about [the event] from a group of friends,” first-year Sydney Bleich said. “We all decided to come out [because] it sounded like fun.”

First-year Hannah Stombaugh said she was attracted to the event after hearing what it would involve.

“It was well-advertised and the lure of fro-yo, popcorn and free shirts was compelling,” Stombaugh said. “It is a nice night.”

Sophomore Sydney Hnat said she was motivated by a similar reason.

“[The appeal was] definitely the ice cream,” Hnat said. “Everything is ice cream. Fro-yo for days.”

At the start of the event, students gathered on the grass after claiming their free T-shirt. They also brought sheets, blankets and comforters to lay on with friends and classmates as they settled in for the movie.

The movie was also timed with the arrival of fall. Excitement over the changing weather added to the night, sophomore Jenna Stengle said.

“Fall is the perfect time to show a movie,” she said. “Why not do it with a bunch of your classmates and friends?”

The event not only allowed friends and classmates to come together — it also provided a place for different years to meet and mingle, first-year Sydney Hruskoci said.

“As a freshman, I really want to get to know as many people as possible and this is a great way to do it,” Hruskoci said.

Junior Whitney Lewis said she valued the opportunity to bond with people outside of her year.

“It brings together people from different classes,” Lewis said. “It doesn’t matter if you are a freshman or a senior — the sisterhood shines through.”

In addition to the free food, the company and the communal benefits of the event, some students were motivated by no other reason than to spend a couple of hours away from their schoolwork.

“It’s a nice way to avoid the responsibilities of the next week,” first-year Katie O’Hara said. “I’m going to ignore all my responsibilities while I’m here.”

One of the major aims of the event, Allen said, was to spread kindness and community.

“One of the things we have going at the event is called the kindness table, and that has to do with writing sticky notes to give to someone or stick somewhere on campus and that was a part of the sisterhood,” she said.

Allen said she views the movie as a “perfect idea” for the event.

“[We thought the movie] would really get people out to the event where we have had a problem getting big numbers to the event,” Allen said. “And what better way to get girls to come eat together, watch a movie together, laugh together and be together?”

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