Hypnotists. Outdoor concerts. Petting exotic animals like a tiny alligator, the dreaded chinchilla, and a wild cat so cute you want to feed it Fancy Feast and cuddle it when you go to sleep.
WOW Wednesdays at Ivy Tech Community College Northeast, which kicked off in fall 2013, are intended to give students something fun to do on campus.
Wednesday, the line in the Student Life Center Commons stretched straight up the middle most of the afternoon as students waited for their chance to make a stuffed animals at the Stuff-a-Fluff event.
Katie Finnearty stood in line to make a Valentine’s Day gift for her boyfriend. She had six stuffing-less animals to choose from (a white bear, a brown bear, an elephant, a huskie, a tiger, and a penguin) and choose a huskie she named Valentine (say VAL-en-TEEN).
After she picked her shell (skin? Husk? Empty animal fluff?), Katie walked up to a large plastic container of stuffing to bring a little life to her poor, floppy husky. First, she had to stuff his paws and tail through a small zipper pouch inside the animal – easier said than done. Each time she turned the animal, the stuffing fell out of his extremities, and the dog went limp again.
Once he was stuffed, she zipped up Valentine’s guts and closed him up by a Velcro strip up his back. She worked him into a tiny white T-shirt with a large green heart that read, “Someone at Ivy Tech Community College Loves Me” and placed him in a bright cardboard carrier. Katie poked his head out the side so he could see where he was going.
WOW Wednesdays are put on by the Campus Advisory Board. Christina O’Brien, the board’s advisor, said she expected Stuff-a-Fluff to be one of the best-attended WOW Wednesdays, guessing that 150 people would show up. Most students, like Katie, made their animals for someone else, as a gift.
Janet Peters, a Liberal Arts student, said Stuff-a-Fluff was her second WOW Wednesday event, and she stopped by to make her partner a Valentine’s Day gift, a stuffed huskie, too. Her partner used to have a huskie, Janet said, and she planned to name her gift after the former pet.
Events like WOW Wednesdays have impressed Janet, she said. It shows the college cares about its students. Janet first graduated college in 1994 and began at Ivy Tech Northeast to become an occupational therapist.
“Everyone is really helpful,” she says. “All the teachers, they really want you to succeed.”