This Valentine's weekend, instead of a fancy night of roses and chocolates, a group of college students opted for a romantic evening of . . . babysitting.
Faculty, staff, and married students of Pacific Union College dropped off their children for a free night of babysitting at the Student-Association-sponsored "Couple's Night Out." Starting at five on Saturday evening, twenty children, ranging from six weeks to two years old, arrived at the college's Campus Center, where they were greeted by student volunteers, loaded up with games and movies for the long night ahead.
With roughly two kids per volunteer, the S.A. started out smart by appeasing future hunger pangs first. Each child was handed a bag of snacks, which included crackers and juices, to sustain any sort of cravings during the next few hours. They then introduced the children to several games. A separate room with a big screen television and plenty of couches was also set up to show various g-rated movies throughout the night.
"Everyone paid attention during the first movie," says Janis Chang, student association president. "But by the middle of the second one, we had a lot of kids running all over the place. Thank goodness we had volunteers who didn't mind running with them."
By the time the the parents arrived (the latest group leaving past midnight), the children had been entertained until exhaustion and ready for bed. They were rewarded with a goody bag filled with rubber balls and play-doh.
"My kids had a fantastic time," said Marcia Toledo, who is an associate professor of business and mother of two. "They loved interacting with the other kids, and they thought that their goodies were just the cat's meow. Hats off to the college kids who gave up their Saturday night to do something nice for the faculty, staff, and fellow students."