Mickey Bromley/ Hilltop Views
It was a bright and sunny afternoon on April 13 when members of the St. Edward’s community sprawled out on the Ragsdale lawn and began to paint. The supply table was laden with all the colors, brushes and papers participants would need. There was only one rule: BYOB (bring your own blanket).
No artistic ability was required to attend the event hosted by the Black Student Alliance, and participants were encouraged to draw whatever they wanted. With two hours to complete their work, some of the attendees even opted to paint multiple pictures.
While it can be embarrassing to express oneself artistically in a crowd, none of the attendees shied away from sharing their drawings. The comfortable atmosphere made it clear that no one would be judged. One of the painters proudly stated that if he was in the 1800s, there would be crowds around him in awe of his work.
About 10 people were there right at the start of the event, eager to get their brushes moving. Others trickled in as time went on, and some passersby were drawn in by the relaxing music and welcoming hosts. There were even a few surprise pet appearances as those walking their dogs passed by the lawn.
BSA hosts all kinds of events on campus from activism meetings to relaxing nights like these, which are referred to within BSA as “check-ins.”
“Check-in nights are basically opportunities for us to engage with the community,” BSA President Courtney Reed said. “Usually it’s something like a movie or game night, but we chose a paint night out on the lawn this time since the weather’s so nice.”
The members of BSA attending the event took great pains to ensure everyone felt welcome and comfortable. They spoke to those passing by the table and encouraged them to participate, and when people arrived to paint they gathered all the necessary materials.
BSA events are open to all members of the community, regardless of whether or not they’re familiar with the organization. They believe that fostering a strong sense of communion will result in a stronger and healthier student body. By planning events like these throughout the semester, BSA tries to give as many students as they can a chance to feel like they’re a part of a larger whole.
Their final event of the semester is the End of Year Banquet, which takes place on April 29 in the Mabee ballrooms from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Everyone is invited to attend, and if it’s anything like this paint night, then I can’t recommend it enough.