Crafternoons is an hour-long event held on Tuesdays by the Women’s Center. It focuses on fun crafts that can help students relax and rejuvenate. You can paint, knit, draw, color and even embroider anything. There is a little something for everyone there.
“One afternoon, we worked on a STEM box you could decorate. We filled it with fidgets, candy, and cards for the counseling and women’s center,” said BriShaun Kearns, a graduate assistant working with the women’s center.
The event is a great way to express yourself. Kearns said they encourage students to make crafts that relate to themselves and connect with others with similar interests.
Kearns recalls, “We had one student painting mushrooms, and a girl in the corner was embroidering them. They were able to bond over this shared aesthetic of mushrooms.”
Beyond being a great way to connect with peers, Crafternoons offers students a chance to experiment with new hobbies.
“As students, we are all struggling, and new hobbies can be expensive to invest in, so Liz [Steinborn-Gourley, director of the Women’s Center] and I put together Crafternoons. We thought up ideas, planned out what we were going to do, and did it,” said Kearns.
Students are also welcome to drop into the Women’s Center at any time to work on crafts as
Kearns spends their time connecting with the students. Kearns helps the students with their crafts, finds resources, and even gives them someone to talk to.
“I check in with folks and get to know them. I try to gauge how they feel and see if I can help them.”
Through these connections, Kearns learns about the students around campus and connects the students with resources they could use.
“I help students learn about food assistance programs, scholarships, emergency funds, and accessibility accommodations.”
Kearns also mentioned that because they make these connections they are able to create lasting bonds with the students.
“It can be hard to make initial connections, but [Crafternoons] provides a bridge for students. There’s a little bit more willingness to trust us with providing resources or emotional support during a hard time.”
Kearns commented that they had struggled and didn’t know about the resources around them until they graduated. They want students to learn about available resources so they don’t face the same struggle.
Kearns said, “The Women’s Center invites you to hang out, whether at events or even in our department space.”
To Kearns and the Women’s Center, how you identify does not matter. You are welcome to talk about your issues or just come and study in a safe place.
Kearns said, “I want students to know that, despite the name of the women’s center, here we have a space physically and in our hearts for every student. We want to hear your voices and learn about what is going on. We want students to be part of a community that uplifts and supports them.”
Header Photo: The Women’s Center hosted another round of Crafternoons on Tuesday. Any students that are interested are free to come in and join. (Lilly Anderson/The Reporter)
Write to Kendall Larson at firstname.lastname@example.org