The Daily Gamecock

Still need a Valentine? You’ve got 3 minutes

Russell speed dating event gives 30 dates in 2 hours

More than 100 USC singles lined up in front of the Russell House Ballroom Saturday afternoon in hopes of finding that special someone.

“A Night to Remember,” a speed-dating event, was held for students living on campus to meet new friends and possibly even find love.

Since few people under 21 have attended a speed-dating event before, many students showed up out of pure curiosity.

Here’s how it worked: Each participant was assigned a number, boys odd and girls even. Ladies all sat on one side of the table with guys facing them on the other. Each “date” lasted three minutes, and at the sound of a bell, indicating the session was over, the gentlemen would move to the seat on their right. Conversation covered topics such as hobbies, favorite food and music, worst fear and type of relationship sought.

After meeting a new potential sweetheart, both the guy and girl had the opportunity to circle their partner’s number on a piece of paper, requesting to see them again. But, the catch was you could only receive your love interest’s information if he or she circled your number as well. Each participant experienced over 30 “dates” in less than two hours, a tiring, yet exciting, feat.

A circuit for the LGBTQ community was an added touch, providing anyone a chance to have a good time.    

Emily Faria, a second-year nursing student, served as the head coordinator of this event, along with the hall governments of Capstone, Preston, Honors and the Horseshoe. “We try to do a program about every month, but we wanted to do something big for Valentines Day that would bring the campus together and get people out of the dorms,” she said, “I’m hoping that it’s not just a date, but that people will want to get more involved on campus and meet new people.”

With gift cards to Vista restaurants as potential prizes, free food and the hope of finding a soulmate in the air, it’s no wonder over 100 students filled the Ballroom for “A Night to Remember.”

The ladies appeared wearing festive skirts and dresses, many pink or red to celebrate the holiday. Guys also dressed to impress, complete with nice polos and a few spritzes of cologne.

Nichole Hinchman, a first-year business student, said, “I just thought it would be fun, and now I can cross speed-dating off of my Bucket List.” Joined by Natalie Royals, a first-year civil engineering student, the girls both agreed that they would love to find someone fun who would plan an exciting Valentines Day date. Hinchman added, “If a guy had the guts to come here, I’m already interested.”

Aaron Vanderhoff, a third-year exercise science student, seemed to have a similar idea of what he was looking for, noting that his perfect girl would have to be intellectual and enjoy trying new things. On where he would take her, he said, “I’d start with a nice restaurant and then listen to live music or go see a movie.”

Participants were given the contact information of potential Valentines after the event, and now it’s up to them whether or not they will take the next step to a less lonely romantic holiday.