Students chill with Bear Factory

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Choose a friend, dress him up, stuff him full of cotton! That’s how students spent the afternoon on Wednesday, March 19, thanks to R-SPaCE’s annual Bear Factory event.

From 12-4 p.m. students gathered in the Bonnie to craft furry friends of their own design for $5 a critter. In addition to giving students a chance to relax between classes, this event let them contribute to the community; all proceeds from sales will be donated to charity, according to Vidall Gowans, a media studies freshman working with R-SPaCE.

Students were also able to donate a stuffed animal to children served by the Women’s Resource Center, thanks to the Donate-A-Bear effort set up by the Women’s Studies Club, Radford University’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion, the PsyD Student Organization, the Scholar-Citizen Initiative, and the Mu Sigma Upsilon Tiaras.

“It’s going to charity, so I think it’s a good event,” Gowans said. “It’s going to be a regular thing — we’re going to start doing it more.”

Of course, students didn’t have to be aware of the charitable angle to have fun with the program.

“It’s mostly just for fun,” said Danielle Johnson, a social work major working with R-SPaCE. “You can get it for your boyfriend, for yourself, something like that.”

Johnson also explained that R-SPaCE hosts “novelty events” from time to time, where students get a chance to work with their hands and do something a little offbeat. This was the last novelty event for the school year, she said, while an earlier example was “Scribe the Hide”; where students took leather bracelets and inscribed them with names, initials, and designs.

For some folks at RU, these kinds of events are something to anticipate all year long.

“I do it every year,” said Trincy Walker, with facilities management. “I love doing these things. They’re so much fun, and they make wonderful gifts for friends and family.”

For others, stopping by the table to craft a furry friend is an impulse decision.

“We walked in the Bonnie and saw it,” said Taylor Bryant, a junior in RU’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing program. When asked what he looked forward to making, Bryant grinned and said, “A penguin! They’re my favorite.”

Jessica Snider, a junior in the same program, chimed in, “I have a lot of penguins!” Bryant laughed and teased, “She has more than I do.”

While Bryant had attended similar events during his time at RU, this was Snider’s very first.