NY/NJ hosts speed dating for A&T singles

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It started with blind dating — friends setting friends up with other singles — which ended disastrously. Then it transitioned to phone dating — meeting people via chat lines — and that became too costly.

Most recently singles have attempted Internet dating, hooking up over MySpace, AIM, and Facebook. Internet dating also poses problems, and has created a new breed of stalkers. Now the latest and greatest way to meet singles is speed dating.

The New York/New Jersey Connection hosted speed dating just in time for Valentine’s Day in the Stallings Ballroom of the Student Union. Singles zealously awaited to meet their potential lovers and soul mates. Ladies remained seated as the men alternated dates as the bell rung.

Singles were able to meet between 20-40 other singles in one night. If one person was not a match, no problem, there were plenty more to go. This event allowed daters to be as picky as they wanted.

Questions varied from the basic “Where are you from?” to “What is your major?” All questions were opened to be answered. Each date lasted about 1 minute and 30 seconds.

Delisa Riddick, a senior nursing major and a member of the NY/NJ Connection club, described the event as, “Fun to do, you get to find a mate or friend. NY/NJ Speed dating allows you to kick it with everyone, meet new people, and try to build new relationships.”

“Speed dating is always a fun and social event. It allows you to get away from school, books and studying so, that you can get to know fellow Aggies,” said Kawanna Foster, a junior public relations major. “It always turns out to be a successful night annually, so we only expect bigger and better each year,” she said.

Bachelors and bachelorettes exchanged flirtatious smiles and touches. Some singles even found it humorous to write bogus names on their name tags. A few wrote their Twitter domain names rather than their actual names to keep contact and network via the Internet. 

Various singles dressed in comfortable yet attractive attire, expecting to snag a companion. People took numbers down, and even made plans to hang out with each other after the event and for Valentine’s Day, which was two days later.

Friends even dated friends. Overall it was a comfortable, laid-back environment. A few people were skeptical about the dates. The body language was a giveaway. Everyone was not at ease and open to dating so freely, and some were shy.

Sean Jamison, an NY/NJ member from Bronx, N.Y., depicted the event as being “a fun event. You can potentially find a Valentine, possibly last minute.” Jamison helped to plan the event. “The planning process was pretty easy. It was fairly simple to get the materials needed for this event,” he said.

NY/NJ members promoted the affair through Facebook, Twitter and flyers. “It was a great turn out, what can you expect? After all, it was hosted by NY/NJ.”

New York/ New Jersey Connection members snapped photos of the events to capture the memorable moments.  Janelle Young coordinated the annual event with secretary Azikiweh Hall, and Miss New Jersey Ashley Peterson.

Chantal Ray, a dance and media management major from Queens pressured her friends to attend the affair. Ray’s friends joked that she “was a player, and had five dates already,” which Ray denied. Their purpose was to “have a good time and laugh, and of course meet new people — just friends,” Ray said.

Delyn Shaw, a club member who hails from Brooklyn, chose to not join in the actual dating, but gave the event a positive review.  “Even if I don’t participate, it’s still a fun event whether you’re on the prowl or not. It made it easy for singles to mingle,” she said.  

“NY/NJ welcomes everyone. We are a good crowd with good people. So this social event was for everybody to enjoy, it was not biased or just for people from ‘up-Top,’ ” she said. 

  • Nisha Streeter