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Legends takes dating to fast lane

Jen Rowling | Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Legends set the atmosphere for Valentine’s Day last night by taking a stab at matchmaking with a speed dating session for nearly 50 Notre Dame students.

“ND is known as the campus with no dating, and Valentine’s Day was around the corner, so it seemed to be a good idea,” program coordinator Jonathan Jorissen said.

Speed dating has recently become a popular phenomenon in large cities across the globe, and Jorissen, following a suggestion from his sister, decided to try the idea on Notre Dame’s campus – despite its reputed stale dating scene.

Small circular tables adorned with Valentine décor arranged on the dance floor were the setting for the 27 male students and 22 female students who attended the event.

Each participant attended eight five-minute dates. Couples sat at a table chatting during their time intervals and, when time was called, they rotated to their next partners.

Every potential date had his or her own scorecard, and, after the completion of each date, they evaluated the people they met. If a person had potential, a “yes” was circled. Contrarily, if there was no interest, a “no” was circled. Legends coordinators collected the score sheets and distributed phone numbers if two individuals checked “yes” for each other.

After the eight dates were completed, participants were given time to mingle. Many students had positive comments about their evening.

“Everyone I met was really nice,” freshman Allison Smith said.

Senior Dave Harmen expressed a similar opinion, praising Legends’ efforts to enhance the social atmosphere at the University.

“It was a valiant attempt to establish a dating scene at ND,” Harmen said. “I haven’t talked to this many girls since sophomore year.”

Senior Sean MacCready agreed.

“I decided to give as many ladies at ND a chance at me as possible,” MacCready joked.

Jorissen was pleased with the turnout and surprised that males outnumbered females. He said he believes the speed dating idea has potential and is considering separating nights by year of graduation.

In response to the topic of dating, in general, at Notre Dame, many students expressed similar views, but opinions varied about the impact speed dating could have on the University social scene.

“People hang out, have fun on the weekends, then give it a name,” senior Liza Davis said. “They call it dating, but all it is is hanging out on the weekends.”

She said she doubted speed dating would ever catch on as a highly influential social force at the University.

” I feel it would be a fun afternoon, but then deteriorate back to Notre Dame,” Davis said. “I feel the relationships and people I met would not be compatible”

Sophomore Craig Brede said that the “majority of what goes on is just hooking up,” and he also doubts speed dating could greatly change Notre Dame.

” I don’t think speed dating will work, but if you think it would be fun to meet people that way, more power to you,” Brede said.