By Charles Jardine
On Feb. 13, the day before Valentine’s Day, over 70 students participated in a speed dating event in the J.C. Williams Center atrium.
Beginning at 11 a.m., approximately 35 men and 35 women took seats opposite each other at a series of long tables decorated with pink and red tablecloths, heart-shaped cutouts, cupcakes, chocolates and sparkling apple cider.
The Exc!te team which sponsored the event spoke throughout the course of the hour, emphasizing that this was a casual event and giving instructions that each date would last three minutes. During each date, each participant was instructed to learn as much as possible about the student across the table from them before switching partners.
Participants were encouraged to ask their speed date out if the conversation went well.
As the atrium filled with the sound of laughter and conversation, more people started to join the event, causing the organizers to add a standing portion to accommodate new participants. In addition, spectators watched from the stairs and upper story of the JC Williams Center.
After an hour of speed dating, the event closed with participants being again encouraged to ask out anyone that they were interested in.
“There appeared to be two to three times the amount of people watching then there were participating,” sophomore Ethan Peterson said of the event’s attendance.
Sophomore Sam Ellis said of the event, “I was grateful at least to be able to have fun conversations and meet a lot of people I wouldn’t have met otherwise.”
He added “I am also glad to see people are pushing for a more casual nature to dating, because it doesn’t have to be love at first sight; you have to date someone to figure that out.”
Exc!te is a branch of student life on campus which is run by students and sponsors events throughout the school year.