As the clock strikes 7pm on Nov. 6, people excitedly rush in through the doors. It is that night of the week again: craft night. This activity is one of the University Activities Board (UAB) hosted activity nights that draws more than 50 people each.
Every week in Room 50 at the Union, the UAB puts together a night where students and other East Lansing residents can make a fun and easy craft. The event is typically held on Wednesdays from 7-9:30 p.m. The event is popular one—a long line begins to form outside the room 30 minutes prior to the event, and supplies tend to run out quickly.
All tools necessary to make the crafts are already provided for, and sometimes food, prizes and UAB swag are also featured. The UAB created this weekly event as a simple way to get out of the dorms and try something new.
Sarah Coleman, a junior MSU student, said that it is important to take breaks while in college, and that these are events are also a good way to meet people in a more intimate setting.
“Going to the craft sessions are a good way to make the campus feel smaller, and a good way to take a break from studying,” said Coleman.
Although some may think otherwise, the UAB hosted events are not just for women—many men attend them too.
Sophomore Vachee Yang came for the first time and was shocked by how many people showed up. He said the craft night exceeded his expectations.
“Anyone can be crafty; creativity comes from the mind. Guy or girl it does not matter, everyone is coming to have a good time,” said Yang.
Families from the local area have also been spotted at these weekly events as well.
Wasin Ahmed brought his two children to the Union for the first time after getting an email from the UAB. Ahmed said that the art nights are a great way for him to spend time with his kids in a creative setting.
One craft featured making travel mugs. Once the doors opened up to the public, people chose their tools and went to work on their crafts.
There was a variety of patterned paper and other supplies such as glitter, crinkle cut scissors and ribbon. Participants could decorate the paper as they pleased, and then could place the paper inside the glass portion of the travel mug to be displayed.
A lot of time and effort goes in to the making of these craft sessions. The art committee meets every Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. to go over planning — they get craft ideas from websites such as Pinterest or Craftgawker, or using collaborative brainstorming. Each night features a craft that is easy to make such as canvas boards, chalkboards or tie-dye t-shirts.
“We have a theme for quality crafts; we are trying to bring in people with crafts that they cannot just make at home,” said freshman UAB member Abi Whitford.
Within the UAB there are 11 student directors, 7 different committees and over 50 members.
Coleman is serving as the Director of Arts for her first time. Her job includes a lot of important duties to ensure the craft nights go smoothly.
“Being the director, I have meetings three times a week, and do a lot of the behind the scenes work such as setting up the room or going out and buying the supplies from stores,” Coleman said.
Because the activity nights are free, fundraising plays an important part in buying the supplies for them. The majority of the art committee’s money comes from the spring and holiday craft shows they have every year.
Overall, students seem happy to relieve some stress and create something fun.
“I like these craft nights because they give us a way to express ourselves in a non-destructive way, and they give us a chance to hang out with other people that is not stressful,” said freshman Aubrey Stechschulte.