July 18, 2024

The month of love might be coming to a close, but chances to find love are still around. On Wednesday, Feb. 21, Shades of Pearl hosted speed dating in Founders. Despite being several days after Valentine’s Day, many people showed up, some looking for love, others just looking for a good time.

“We felt like having it before Valentine’s Day would be too much pressure,” Asharee Jones, a sophomore and president of Shades of Pearl, said. She laughed, looking over to her friend. “This is a ‘if you missed your shot’- shot”.

Many people showed up to take their shot. With the dim, relaxed and inviting atmosphere as well as upbeat music, it was easy to feel confident and comfortable. My friend and I took seats at the bar in order to see all the action of the night. Tables for two were set up in the middle of the room for the participants, although a couple decided upon the more comfortable couch. Each pair was given five minutes to ask each other questions of their choosing. Then, after their short time was up, they were given 45 seconds to rate their experience with their current partner and find a new one. It might sound chaotic, but the ladies in Shades of Pearl made sure everything ran smoothly, and everyone always had a new partner.

Although some participants started off a little tense, by the second or third round everyone had loosened up. A couple people even got up to get a beer from Founder’s bar, adding to the relaxed bar scene vibe. I wandered around, watching and taking notes as Jones bounced around, calling out times, asking people if they were enjoying themselves and helping get conversations started. Looking around, I didn’t see one frowning face. People were laughing and making jokes with their partners, sharing their good times.

There were a few more girls than guys at this event, but that didn’t slow anything down. If two girls were paired together, they still talked and asked each other questions, proving that this event wasn’t just focused on love, but also about creating new friendships. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves at the event, each having their own reasons for attending. An anonymous student said he came at the recommendation of his friends, and of course, who could resist free food? He was very open minded and excited to see where the night would take him. He was looking for someone adventurous and who loved music and hoped that this event would open some doors.

I was finally able to catch Jones for a couple words about the event, and she was excited to be able to talk about the event she and Shades of Pearl had worked so hard on. An original idea of their vice president, the ladies of Shades of Pearl were glad the event had attracted so much attention. Jones was particularly thrilled with all the people who were able to attend, claiming she had a fun time promoting the event. She and the other members in Shades of Pearl hope to make this an annual event and think it will be even more successful in the future.


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