Students speed through matches in search of conversation, mate
Published: Monday, February 11, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 11, 2013 22:02
Love at first sight might not be real, but apparently three minutes is enough time to separate the soul mates from the creeps.
Starting “Romance Week” off with a bang, or rather a bell, the Ohio Union Activities Board hosted “Undergraduate Speed Dating” Sunday evening in the Great Hall Meeting Rooms at the Ohio Union. OUAB contacted Pre-Dating Speed Dating, a speed dating service, to organize the free event.
Speed dating consists of several short dates — this event’s were three minutes — in the span of a few hours. Tables were set for two couples and the men moved around the room. When the coordinator rang a bell, the dates ended and participants had sheets to make notes of how the dates went.
Heidi Baer, the event’s coordinator, said her responsibilities ranged from making sure there were even numbers of couples to sending the “matches” to participants afterward.
A match happens when participants mark on a ballot that they would like to continue talking after the event. There are two types of matches, Baer said.
A double-match is when both participants pick each other. A single-match is when one participant chooses another. Baer said she sends out the matches, collected at the end of the event, within 24 hours after the dates. She said about 80 to 90 percent of people match with someone.
Baer said she has been running campus speed dating events for about six years with the Graduate and Professional Programming Committee and was excited to work on the first OUAB-sponsored undergraduate speed dating as well.
“They love it. It’s a way to expand your social circle, it’s a way to meet that special someone,” she said.
She said the event had a cap of 55 men and 55 women, and there were about 100 people placed on the waitlist.
Aliza Bruchs, a fourth-year in marketing and Special Events Programming Committee chair for OUAB, said she knew the Graduate and Professional Programming Committee had done speed dating successfully and she wanted to make the idea work for undergraduates.
“Basically, we started brainstorming the idea of the whole ‘Romance Week’ together, and from there we pretty much talked to people within the Union to see how we could do this in an open and inclusive environment,” she said.
Caleb Jack, a second-year in chemistry, said he saw ads for the event while he was singing karaoke and signed up with a friend.
“I was really just looking for an interesting conversation,” he said.
As far as meeting that special someone, Jack said he wasn’t so sure.
“I mean, nobody crazy special. I don’t actually think I found my soulmate,” he said.
Kate Crooks, a third-year in neuroscience, said she thought it was a good way to meet new people.
“A lot of the people I get to talk to in a typical day are either the same major as me or way younger than I am because I’m a junior still living on campus,” she said. “What I got to do was talk to people who are in sort of the same place in life as I was, but aren’t exactly doing what I’m doing.”
It wasn’t all hearts and flowers though. Alex Grese, a first-year in English, said not everyone she met was a love connection.
“This one guy just kind of sat there and stared at me the whole time,” she said. “Some people had trouble carrying a conversation so you basically had to do it for them, but you met really interesting people and could talk about anything.”
Jason Paulovich, a second-year in exercise science, said he was disappointed with the number of people he met.
“I didn’t like how we only got to see half the people here, not even,” he said.
Participants were able to meet with 20 other people out of the 55 men and 55 women, Baer said.
Bruchs said she received positive feedback so far and hopes to do it again in the future.
For many, the event was a good way to connect with others, but for some, their best connection was with the meatballs served at the event.
“It was a nice way to meet some people and eat some food,” said Matthew York, a second-year in accounting. “What I regret is that I ate before I came.”