Fifty (or So) First Dates

Chika-Dike O Nwokike

Two freshmen share a joke during their rather quick date at the annual "Sex, Love, and Harvard" Speed Dating event on Thursday evening.

Some of Harvard’s romantically-minded freshmen gathered together Thursday night for the College’s second annual speed dating event, “Sex, Love, & Harvard.”

The event, which was co-sponsored by the Center for Wellness and the Freshman Dean’s Office, was complete with free Bolocco burritos, cookies, and representatives from different campus support groups.

“The idea was conceived last year because we wanted to do some programming around sexual health but we also thought it would be fun to host a speed dating event,” said Rory Michelle Sullivan ’09, the Director for Residential Education and Arts Initiatives at the Freshman Dean’s Office. “So in the end we thought, why not combine both?”

The result was a social event that also provided students with information on available support and resources for related topics on campus. A variety of student organizations, including Contact Peer Counseling and Radcliffe Union of Students, distributed information to students at the event.

In between the two rounds of speed dating, a panel of upperclassmen reflected on their own dating experiences at Harvard.

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Fast Flirting

Fast Flirting

Rapid Fire Love

Rapid Fire Love

The event attracted over 50 freshmen, who said that they decided to attend for a variety of reasons.

“I am frustrated with my dating situation right now and I am here for an outlet and to meet a woman,” said Michael A. New ’15. “I am tired of random hookups.”

Others said that they were just happy to enjoy the relaxed environment.

“I am here to have a good time. I am not here because I need to be here, I am here because I want to be here,” Anneli L. Tostar ’15 said.

Nathan H. Pointer ’15 said that he shared similar expectations. “I don’t particularly expect to meet someone, but it’s fun to try,” Pointer said.

Although those who attended the event said they enjoyed it, only half as many people attended the event as last year. However, Sullivan said that she had expected that the turnout would not be as strong as that of the previous year.

“The freshman formal is tomorrow so we are having to compete with that in peoples’ weekend plans,” Sullivan said.

However, she said that there are benefits to having fewer attendees.

“It might be nicer that it is a small event,” she said. “This way, people will really get a chance to meet everyone in the room.”

—Staff writer Rachael E. Apfel can be reached at rachaelapfel@college.harvard.edu

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