Dabbling in dating at Dordt University

Teresa Taylor – Staff Writer

Photo Credit: Teresa Taylor

“You know what time it is. It’s Valentine’s Day. I hate Valentine’s Day. But it gives us the rare opportunity to date willy-nilly, and so we shall.” Issac Rohne said.

Rohne, a senior, then invited the “not-takens” on campus to fraternize with their fellow singles. After the success of the speed dating event following Heartland Break, Rohne gave the event a second act on the day of love: Valentine’s Day.

“You have no idea who the hell is dating who,” Rohne said about the prevalence of couples on campus. “But on Valentine’s Day, all the couples are gone.”

At 8:00 p.m., 30 contestants met in the lobby of Kuyper Apartments to try their hand at the dating game. The event consisted of ten, five-minute rounds, where topics such as dinner dates, Valentine’s Day opinions, and reasons for choosing Dordt were discussed. Rohne encouraged pairs to ignore the prompts, though, allowing for free-flowing conversation. After each round, the contestants rated enjoyability of the date on a scale of one to ten.

At the end of the night, Rohne tallied the scores and released the results. The “most datable” guy and gal on campus were senior Luke Bousema and sophomore Emma Vande Voort.

“It was kind of like being in a sitcom but without the laugh track,” Vande Voort said. “It was pretty fun—a good way to meet a bunch of random people.”

“I was absolutely exhausted by the end, but it was enjoyable to meet so many amazing people,” Bousema said. “I think dating is seen as too serious on campus, so I enjoyed being in an environment where dating was so relaxed.” 

The speed dating event offered the single students on campus a night out and an outlet to poke fun at the university’s dating culture.

“I believe the dating culture of Dordt can be summed up by a phrase sung by the Canons of Dordt: ‘Can you smell the hogs tonight?’” a participant said.

Another said: “People need to stop making me feel bad about being single. I’m happy. ”

Though some students lamented their university’s attitudes toward dating and marriage, Donald Roth, associate professor of criminal justice, said it “worked for me.”

“Being number one in engagement may have both connotations,” Roth said.

Still, Roth thinks that a hyper-fixation on marriage can have harmful effects: 

“Sometimes conservative Christian culture can be so marriage-focused all the time that it gets in the way of forming healthy relationships with the opposite sex. We should be resisting oversexualization of culture.”

Rohne said he intended for the speed dating event to provide a night for single students to enjoy themselves, rather than worrying about not having a date.

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