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An example of the themes for this week's crafts, Homecoming, and next week's crafts, Pride month, on Oct. 6 in West 82 food court for Marti and Stewie craft night in Athens, Ohio.

Students gather to decompress and make crafts together in Baker Center

In between the snipping of scissors and the stroking of brushes against blank canvas boards, one can find students having fun while they make a variety of crafts. Every Thursday night at the bottom of Baker center in West 82, Ohio University students let their creative side shine at an event called Marti and Stewie Craft Night. 

Charles Sanders, a graduate assistant for residential activities, said these craft nights have been going on since way before his time—approximately since 2008. Unlike many other programs which had to be shut down during COVID-19, Marti and Stewie craft nights stayed ongoing through the pandemic. 

Sanders said the craft nights were named after American businesswoman, Martha Stewart, who is known for her DIY crafts and home decor tips.

Sanders said he was surprised to see how many OU students loved crafts as the program gets in between 100-200 students every Thursday when the event is held. 

He noted that his favorite part of the events has been connecting with the students and being able to see them develop their creative side. 

A favorite of Sanders is going around and taking pictures of the students and their artwork, and that this was something that they looked forward to as well. 

“Honestly a lot of the stuff that is made here by these students could be displayed in an art show,” he said. 

Sanders said the whole purpose of the events really revolved around community engagement. 

“This is more about providing a space not really with that much high energy but more low-key, and you’re still able to bond with your friends and build those connections,” he said. 

He said having a space to allow yourself to be creative was also a huge aspect of the craft nights.

“I think Marti and Stewie is important because it provides a creative outlet while also letting you vibe with the people that either you’re sitting next to or the people that you bring from your friend groups or learning communities,” he said. 

Emily Burt, a freshman studying nursing, said she has been coming to craft nights every week since the second week of school. 

“I've fallen in love with it,” she said. 

Burt said coming to the craft nights gives her the opportunity to relax and decompress during the week. 

“I started coming because it gave me a peace of mind knowing that each week I could have just a little bit of fun with arts and crafts whether I’m good at it or not,” she said. 

Burt said another nice part of the event was that it was free to all students, so she didn't have to worry about spending any money making the crafts. She was also able to enjoy the moment and focus on her crafts. 

Hannah Toth, a freshman studying journalism, said she has been going to almost every craft night since the start of the semester. 

“I like arts and crafts,” she said. “It was a fun idea. I had people I knew going so I started going.” 

Toth said the craft nights have been a nice way to relax when school becomes stressful. 

“I think it's a good de-stressor for kids because obviously we are doing work and stuff, and it’s a nice safe space for when you need something to do other than sit in your dorm room and stress about your assignments all week,” Toth said. “It’s like a getaway, if you will.”

@gabriellecab1

gc183621@ohio.edu


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