Simran Damian, Aman Basra and Simran Chouhan enjoying donuts and drinks. Photo credit: Kate Playfair

Singles and couples gathered in the AC Hub for some Valentine’s Day cheer and free donuts.

The AC Hub hosted a Valentine’s Day event Feb. 14, between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., featuring snacks, non-alcoholic drinks, cookie decorating, trivia, a photo booth and plenty of time to mingle. The event was open to all current Algonquin students, whether they brought a date or not.

“I saw a post about this event today on the Algonquin SA Instagram page,” said Karnavie Panchotiya, 25, a fitness and health student. “I don’t have any classes (today), so I just thought I’d take myself on a date.”

This is the first Valentine’s Day event hosted at the college since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the AC Hub’s event programmer and the creator of this event, Samantha Therrien. She was very excited to bring this event to life and re-imagine the definition of “love”.

“I just love a good theme, so I had to do something fun for Valentine’s Day,” said Therrien. “It’s just a nice day to, like, not only celebrate love, but I wanted to give students the opportunity to do something if they don’t have plans or if they don’t have something to do. To show that love isn’t just romantic love, it’s friendship love, it’s self-love. Take a little time out of your day, do our event, spoil yourself with treats, and to give students something to do on this day that can sometimes be sad and lonely for people.”

Some students used the event as a way to enjoy Valentine’s Day with their partners at school.

Brayden Hermann and his girlfriend of three years, Julia Almeida, enjoyed their Valentine’s Day in the AC Hub decorating cookies and dressing up for photos.

“I was just looking at the events happening at the school, and one day I just happened to look at the whole thing for this semester, and I saw this come up,” said Hermann, 23, a computer engineering technology student. “And I said, hey, why not sign up for this, so I said to her, hey, we should go to this event.”

“We were both going to be in school, so I thought it would be cute,” said Almeida, 20, an accounting student.

While advertised as the “day of love,” the Valentine’s Day event welcomed all students to attend and have a good time, despite the label.

“I just wanted to check it out,” said Rakin Islam, 30, a computer programming student. “I don’t attend a lot of on-campus events, and I guess I’m just trying to meet new people. Whatever happens, happens.”

“Usually, I come here to study,” said Clark Pauo-hector, 23, a drawing foundations student. “But I noticed what was going on here, and I saw free donuts and I was like, ooo, free donuts, okay cool.”

In addition to the free food, prizes were also offered to the winner of a Valentine’s Day-themed Kahoot. Daniel Bouchard, a first-year radio broadcasting student, walked away with a $50 Visa gift card and an Algonquin College T-shirt.

To view upcoming events hosted at the Ottawa campus, please visit the Algonquin College Events Calendar,