Speed Friending allows for new friendships amidst the pandemic

BY CJ GIBSON

As the Spring 2021 semester set into its snowy start, Student Engagement provided an opportunity for students to make new friends.

Assistant Director of Student Engagement (Diversity & Inclusion), Tina Wolbert, advocated the importance of safely socializing during a time of social distancing.

“Connections are what makes life important and special,” Wolbert said, “Especially right now, I think it’s difficult to make connections with people because we are doing a bit more social distancing, but that doesn’t mean we can’t create connections and relationships that are going to be long-lasting.”

As students entered the Memorial Union’s Black & Gold Room on Monday, they filled out notecards with their contact information. Students could later take photos of each other’s cards for follow-up communication.

In a manner similar to that of “speed dating”, students sat in two rows of chairs facing each other and, after conversing for three minutes, would rotate, allowing them to meet different people.

Another social exercise involved raising hands to indicate preferences. For example, a question would be asked such as “Who likes sports?” and participants could easily scan the room to find others who shared similar interests. 

After the event, students were given leftover friendship bracelet materials and self-care supplies from previous Student Engagement programs. Student Engagement also provided drinks and cookies.

For those unable to attend the first session of Speed Friending, there will be another opportunity this afternoon from 2-4 p.m today in McMindes 2R.

Student Engagement will also be hosting at least one event per week for the entire semester.

Two upcoming Student Engagement events are the Black History Month celebration and the DACA & Immigration Informational Session.

The Black History Month celebration will take place from 2-4 p.m on Tuesday, Feb. 2 in the Black & Gold Room. Attendees will be able to learn about notable African Americans and their achievements while enjoying snacks and a painting activity.

The DACA & Immigration Informational Session is an upcoming virtual event from 2-3 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 3. Carly McPeak, an attorney for the McCrummen Immigration Law Group LLC, will present information about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. Students who register on TigerLink will receive a free t-shirt commemorating the event.

“We wanted to make sure that we’re doing our part to offer those opportunities to connect and learn about other people and other organizations and events on campus,” Wolbert said.

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