Pilots stop to smell the roses

By The Beacon | February 19, 2014 11:33pm
Senior Rohan Innis delivered roses to students Feb. 13 while followed by a camera crew  of seniors An Nguyen and Terran Benedict. Photo by Spencer Young

Senior gifts 50 roses to random students and faculty in honor of Valentine’s Day

Rebekah Markillie |

When communication studies professor Elayne Shapiro finished teaching Thursday of last week, she was not expecting to be confronted by a young man in a suit brandishing roses and a box of chocolates.

“I thought it was very cute and sweet to see them on their way (over),” she said.

Shapiro knew the boys were interested in marketing, so she thought it might be for a project.

“I didn't know they were practicing ‘random acts of kindness’ at the time, so I probably felt happier about the Valentine's gesture than if I had known it was random,” Shapiro said. “But it was a lovely way to end a day of teaching.”

On the day before Valentine’s Day, senior Rohan Innis, with a camera crew of seniors, An Nguyen and Terran Benedict, handed out 50 roses to random girls in the spirit of the holiday.

“Originally I wanted to do 100 roses, but that was a little much,” Innis said. “(Three) weeks ago I contacted a flower shop but because it was Valentine’s Day, roses were three bucks so I just went to Fred’s (Fred Meyer’s)  - two of them actually.”

In total, Innis spent $130.

Librarian Stephanie Michel was sitting at the research desk when she received a flower.

“I’d seen the gentleman in the Library giving roses to other women and I was thinking ‘what’s going on?’ ‘what’s he doing?’ ‘why does he have these roses?’ and next thing I knew he came up to me and offered me a rose,” she said. “I wish I could remember exactly what he said, I was just so shocked and caught off guard that I don’t remember.”

Last year Innis gave out flowers on a whim.

“The reactions I got were so good,” he said. “I had to do it again.”

So this year he decided to go bigger and collaborate a video with some friends.

In the initial stages of their planning, Innis was going to leave the roses on girl’s backpacks but Nguyen’s girlfriend warned them it might come off as weird.

“It was (a creepy idea)!” said Nguyen. “It definitely needed a woman’s perspective.”

There was also hesitation about what day they were going to do the stunt and how they were going to go about filming.

“We weren’t sure what day to do it,” Innis said. “Did we want the video up on Valentine’s Day?”

They decided that the day before would be doable so the video could be posted on Valentine’s Day.

“He (Innis) was going to do it regardless if we filmed it or not,” Benedict said. “I think it worked out the day before.”

“And this guy was up all night editing,” Innis laughed, pointing at Nguyen.

When choosing girls to give flowers to, Innis tried to pick out girls who looked like they needed a smile. But as he handed out roses, they got some unexpected responses.

“There were people who thought he was selling the flowers,” Benedict said.

“People would look at me like ‘what’s the catch?’” Innis said. “I think that says something about the state of mind people are in.”

Innis confessed he might do something next year, maybe downtown.

“Valentine’s Day 2015!” he said.

Watch the video