What color best describes your personality?
If a movie were made of about your life, who would you want to play you?
Would you rather be a clown that distracts the bull or the bull rider on the bull?
What is the cheesiest pick up line you have heard?
If you think these questions are difficult to answer, try coming up with a response to them as an icebreaker for speed dating! A three-minute conversation could make or break your first impression with someone who could be a new friend… or maybe a boyfriend! YellowJacket staff reporter Gino Chacon encountered this situation Sunday evening while attending LeTourneau’s first “Dater Dash” event, hosted by Student Foundation.
Student Foundation staff hosted Dater Dash to raise money for their Endowed Student Scholarship program; the most recent recipient is Matt Barr, who will get a $1,000 award this school year. Spring’s fundraiser is the silent auction during Hootenanny, though the main moneymakers are year-round sales of birthday cakes and back-to-school or finals-survival kits. This fall’s type of event was a first for LeTourneau students, and while many were wary of a romantic outing, over thirty people (almost exactly even numbers of girls and guys!) were curious enough to sign up.
That is, some people were curious for themselves, and others were curious for their less adventurous friends.
One guy had his ticket bought for him by insistent floormates, saying they “not so much dared me, more like forced me to come!” He then smiled, conceding, “I don’t really not want to go.” Jordan S. was happy to come, confidently verifying, “Yes, I actually signed up” without prodding. Other people came with a friend or small group, so most attendees knew at least a few faces already. Homemade Chinese food from the Development Office staff was a draw, as well. Jamie D. wrote in her blog, “$5 for dinner on a Sunday and a fun experience?! Sign me up!”
With the excuse of a press pass, Gino was nervous at the beginning of Dater Dash: “I mean, it’s a roomful of people you’ve never met before.” However, the setting was relaxed and everyone mingled naturally from the beginning. “I felt like it was a pretty casual, relaxed atmosphere,” Morgan S. said. “The music helped, too.” LeTourneau student and local DJ John Krupka kept the party going with Stance-worthy beats throughout the evening.
The first part of the event was traditional speed-dating, a conversation marathon in which each couple has three minutes to get to know each other before the bell rings and partners switch. Student Foundations provided icebreaker questions, though common interests and general friendliness made speaking easy after exchanging names. The dinner buffet came next, followed by a series of fun Minute-to-Win-It games.
Student Foundations hopes to host Dater Dash next year, considering the reasonably good turnout of its much-discussed debut. Many of the attendees were freshmen, so hopefully more and more students will keep an open mind about the event as a fun way to make new friends in a low-pressure environment. However, Juniors and Seniors who attended met other upperclassmen for the first time. “I would [come back],” Gino said. “If anything, just to meet some of the freshmen that go, or to convince a friend to come with me.” Devin G. agrees, “I would totally go again.” Guys were not the only ones who enjoyed the event, though! “You know, I’m really glad that I went,” Morgan shared afterwards. “I thought it was going to be awkward, but . . . . there wasn’t much awkwardness at all.”
Overall, the feeling was that socialization, not matchmaking, was the real goal of the event. “It’s more about meeting people than it is an actual date,” Gino concluded. “More like a fellowship . . . you don’t set your goal on someone to date.” Besides, there is nothing wrong with branching out of one’s comfort zone and turning on the charm every once in a while. “It’s really hard to meet people that I don’t know,” was one guy’s sheepish reply to whether he would consider asking out someone he met that evening. A female attendee seemed optimistic: “You just never know! It depends on the guy, but I wouldn’t have minded giving someone my number. And even if no one is of interest, these brownies were really good!”
Written by Carly Robinson. Photo Credit: Curtis Wise.