Open house charms students

Sophomore business major Alexis Aguilera and sophomore biology major Ysabel Zamora attend the Fall in Love with the Campus Center event on Valentine's Day. The event was an open house hosted by various departments in the Abraham Campus Center. / photo by Abelina J. Nuñez
Sophomore business major Alexis Aguilera and sophomore biology major Ysabel Zamora attend the Fall in Love with the Campus Center event on Valentine’s Day. The event was an open house hosted by various departments in the Abraham Campus Center. / photo by Abelina J. Nuñez

Kamila K. De La Fuente
LV Life Editor 

The Campus Center attracted college students, faculty and prospective students to fall head-over-heels with all the free available resources and a look into upcoming events for the spring semester. 

From 11 to 1 p.m, the heart and hub of campus greeted students with red, pink, bubble letters overhead reading “Fall in Love.” 

The first 100 people to visit three departments first received a free beverage from Nambah Coffee. 

Romantic tunes set the scene as guests savored sweet treats from Crumbl Cookies and Nothing Bundt Cakes.  

Lorie Vasquez Ramiro, career advisor and student support coordinator, envisioned the Open House to bring everyone together and to educate students on what ULV has to offer during their time as undergraduates. 

She said she found that a great deal of students do not know about the myriad of resources available at their fingertips. 

Ramiro said she had senior students for career appointments who had no idea where the Campus Center was located. 

“I feel like it’s a big part of their success within their educational journey as well as their careers,” Ramiro said. “There’s certainly that element of bringing people together from different backgrounds through that shared sense of life and community.”

Guests engaged in conversation and Valentine-themed activities from writing candy-grams to entering a raffle to win a prize. 

A tray of cupcakes awaits visitors at the Fall in Love With the Campus Center event on Wednesday. The departments in the Abraham Campus Center collaborated to create an event for students and faculty to learn about available resources and upcoming events this semester. / photo by Abelina J. Nuñez

Ramiro is an ULV alumna, who recognized how attending school here can be financially stressful and made prize-giving essential to promoting student involvement. 

The idea was born after attending an Open House at the Ludwick Center in 2023. 

Red balloons and tablecloths with pink and gold accents enticed people to take a look.  Up the stairs on the left, on the second floor, visitors slid their hands on metallic banisters, adorned with heart-shaped balloons, and lined up to get a sip of Nambah coffee. 

In line, Meriam Gerges, sophomore anthropology major, and Emily Van Der Linden, senior studio art major, looked around all the festive decor as they waited. 

“I thought it was very cute, it’s obviously very (Valentine-themed),” Van der Linden, a senior studio arts major, said. “They encouraged us to take balloons, I thought that was kind of fun.” 

She liked learning about upcoming events on the calendar and seeing what resources are available to her as a college student. 

Gerges, a transfer student, did not have any clue about resources available to her, as she was not sociable when she first started. 

“This event was helpful to know all the resources available and, of course, the food,” Gerges said. She found events like these make meaningful memories with new friends. 

The event time frame was a year in the making, securing collaboration with multiple departments, while creating the aesthetic took approximately three months. 

Darian Warhop, junior digital media major, works for the Abraham Campus Center and Admissions Office. He arrived on campus at 6:30 a.m to set up for multiple events, including this one. 

“The event is very structured, very organized (and) different from other events I’ve been to,” Warhop said. “I feel like I’ve been introduced and greeted in every different place I’ve been to so far and it’s a very welcoming environment and feels good for Valentine’s Day.”

He liked getting to attend the booths, as he typically did not get to as he was working them. 

“I’m still getting help and still getting information I didn’t know I needed,” he said. “It’s important to come in and just get a feel for what you have to do to get on the right track for graduation.” 

Braeden Varney, freshman kinesiology major, said the event opened his eyes to all the resources available, notably the 24/7 tutoring. 

Among the constant flux of people flowing in and out of the Campus Center were prospective student athletes and friends David Anyanwu and Jayden Woods.  

Anyanwu and Woods attended the 2024 Spring Black College Expo last weekend where he met ULV football coaches at a booth inside, who invited them to come tour campus. 

“You kind of feel like love is in the air when you walk into the building, it’s just a really good environment,” Woods said.

Woods said he felt that everyone was really sweet and could see that being the same on the football field with his teammates. 

“The love and support that they have shown my friend Jayden and I just in these last 40 minutes, it’s been amazing and it’s remarkable,” Anyanwu said. 

Kamila K. De La Fuente can be reached at kamila.delafuente@laverne.edu.

Academic Advisor Brooke Grasso Lavin discusses future events with freshman kinesiology major Braeden Varney and prospective student David Anyanwu at the Fall in Love With the Campus Center event Wednesday. Students were able to grab Valentine’s goodie bags, cupcakes and cookies. / photo by Abelina J. Nuñez
Career Advisor Lorie Vazquez and Campus Visit Manager Jasmine Thomas giggle at the Fall in Love With the Campus Center Event for Valentine’s Day on Wednesday. The various departments within the Abraham Campus center organized the event to allow students and staff to come together and celebrate Valentine’s Day. / photo by Abelina J. Nuñez

Correction
In a previous version of this story, Darian Warhop’s name was misspelled and David Anyanwu was incorrectly identified. The Campus Times regrets the errors.

Kamila K. De La Fuente is a fifth-year senior creative writing and broadcast journalism major. She is currently the LV Life editor for the Campus Times. She is a dedicated broadcast journalist who is passionate about storytelling and community engagement. Devoted to a lifestyle of knowledge, service and vision, she is actively involved in her community as well as a fierce advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion. She has previously served as an assistant editor and staff writer in Fall 2022.

Abelina J. Nuñez, senior journalism major, is a photography editor for Campus Times and staff photographer for La Verne Magazine. She previously served as LV Life editor, arts editor social media editor and staff writer. In Fall 2023, Nuñez was La Verne Magazine's editor-in-chief and was previously a staff writer as well. Her work can be found on Instagram @abelinajnunezphoto.

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