Southeast Missouri State University student publication

SEMO students and faculty commemorate Valentine's Day with personal celebrations

Saturday, February 11, 2023
Graphic by Emma Kratky

Valentines Day, the annual holiday celebrating love and enjoyment, is right around the corner. Students and faculty at SEMO all celebrate in different ways, including through romantic and platonic love.

Individuals don’t necessarily need a significant other to enjoy the holiday. Galentine's and Palentine's exist on the 13th to share the day of love with best friends. According to, author Kelsey Pelzer said the term Galentine's was coined from the show Parks and Recreation as a way for main character Leslie Knope to celebrate with her fellow female coworkers.

Freshman Jenna Loveless, a future PR major, loves every day of love. She said her favorite memory of Valentine's Day is from a card from her dad. The card reads “to my dear valentine for the last 6,284 days. I love you with all my heart.”

“Those words may have been simple, but they have stayed with me ever since and I find that to be the greatest gift of all,” Loveless said.

She also said Galentine's Day is a great creation.

“We should celebrate any and all of the love in our lives,” Loveless said. She is celebrating this day of love with her roommates and her sorority, Alpha Phi.

Freshman, and future English major, Mallory Gimblett said her favorite Valentine's Day memory is when her valentine, Alex, took her to visit an art exhibit in St. Louis displaying the art of Van Gogh.

“It was a huge tent that you walked into that had ‘live’ Van Gogh art because it would move around and change and took up every wall and the ceiling and floor,” Gimblett said. “I love art, so it felt very thoughtful to me because Alex doesn't appreciate art quite the way I do. So I thought it was sweet that he took me there even though it wasn’t one of his interests.”

When it comes to platonic love, she said it is important that it is prioritized just like romantic love.

“Give love to everybody that you can. You never know what kind of day somebody is going through. Compliment your friends, compliment people, and just be a good person,” Gimblett said.

Freshman cyber security major, Alex Boehne said his views on love were non-traditional.

“I kind of take an unconventional view of relationships. I’m polyamorous, I think we have the capacity to love as many people as we love,” Boehne said. “Understanding that my relationship is unconventional, it really doesn’t feel like I’m in an unconventional relationship.”

He is nearing the 6 month mark with his partners, and gets to celebrate Valentine’s Day with both of them. Boehne also said he enjoys knowing there is a day where people can celebrate their love for their friends.

“We don't get a lot of opportunities to be able to take a day out to appreciate ourselves or the people that we care about, regardless of if they are our partner or not. And I think making those celebrations mainstream has had a more positive impact on how we view our relationship with ourselves and with the people we surround ourselves with,” Boehne said.

He said acknowledging your appreciation for your friends is very important. “Tell the people who you love that you love them as much as you can,” Boehne said.

Andrea Heuring, Sikeston professor of Relationships in the 21st Century, said she and her husband don’t make a big fuss about Valentine's Day.

“We do have a tradition of making lasagna on Valentine's Day. That is what we did our first year dating when we were both young and broke,” Heuring said.

As an educator on modern day relationships, she said she recognizes February can be hard on some individuals. She also said the inclusion of other holidays added in to celebrate other forms of love are great and very helpful.

“Not everyone even wants a significant other. Many stay single by choice and we should celebrate everyone's differences and choices,” Heuring said. “I think it is a really good idea that we celebrate days in February that appreciate self and platonic relationships.”