Stress Relief: Painting the New River Gorge Bridge

To celebrate New River Gorge becoming the United States’ 53rd national park, Marshall University’s Student Activities Office hosted the semester’s final Paint-and-Sip event on Tuesday to promote stress relief as finals approach.
50 masked students entered the Don Morris Room at 7 p.m. and received punch, chips and their choice of buffalo chicken dip or spinach artichoke dip before taking their seat at socially distanced tables. Each student was given a canvas with the outline of the New River Gorge and Bridge, brushes and paint. Charlie Barger, owner of Huntington’s Paint and Sip Studio, taught students her techniques as the “class” painted together.
Ashley Ross, a senior social work student at MU, said she had been to one of these events her sophomore year, and was glad the university allowed these events to happen despite COVID.
“This is a great way to relieve stress from students,” Ross said, “especially because of finals. Students get overwhelmed and I’m glad people can still be together and have a good time while still being safe.”

Dakota Maddox, the director of student activities, said she enjoys coordinating these events and others like it.
“It’s the best, I always tell people I have the coolest job on the planet,” Maddox said. “It’s a whole lot of work, super high energy and sometimes super stressful, but at the end of the day, whenever students show up and I can see that they’re enjoying themselves, it makes it all worth it.”
As the semester draws to a close, Maddox said there are still important events to come. The student talent show “Thunder on the Stage,” will take place on Saturday. Maddox said student housing will help coordinate the event.
“The show is going to be fun and interesting because it will be in-person instead of virtual,”Maddox said.

Maddox said the Student Activities Office is already working on student orientation and Week of Welcome for the next semester, where they anticipate the in-person events that were postponed last year.
Maddox said.

the Office is open to any students who are interested in planning programs or have any ideas for student activities.
“If anyone wants to get involved in the creation of these events, or if they just have ideas, I want them to shoot me an email,” Maddox said. “I’m always available, and a lot of our ideas come from students.”

Madison Perdue is a reporter for the Parthenon and is available at [email protected]