By JULIA HOLMES
Matchmaking has been around for centuries, but only recently has UMW been getting some experience in the time-honored tradition thanks to one the newest groups on campus.
The UMW Matchmakers have been in business less than a month now, but they have already paired up 50 students on dates.
“People don’t date anymore,” said sophomore Elizabeth Brennan, one of the founders of the group.
Brennan, along with the other organizers of the program, sophomore Mattson Fields and junior Erica Gouse, decided to be part of the solution and help their peers out.
The trio is excited to work with students so they can find romance, or even just meet new people, problems the matchmakers feel are certainly issues at UMW.
“We were hanging out and talking about how our friends and classmates want to meet new people, but guys and girls don’t do anything about it,” said Gouse.
Students who are looking for a change can get started by filling out the matchmakers’ survey so they will be entered into their database and dates can start being made.
The survey asks the participant’s name, age, email and major, and then three questions that the Matchmakers have carefully constructed so that the participant’s personality can be understood. It can be requested by emailing the matchmakers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once a match has been made, participants are sent an email giving them the first name of their date as well as a day and time for the event. Only the first name is given as to cut down on the potential for the participants to look each other up first.
“People can Facebook stalk any day of the week,” Fields explained.
The dates are scheduled to take place at the Nest so it is a casual atmosphere and so there is no pressure. After the initial date, the matchmakers will facilitate a second meeting, if both parties are interested, explained Gouse.
For the matchmakers, love is not necessarily the ultimate goal. The priority of the UMW Matchmakers is to give students the opportunity to socialize and meet new people.
“We want UMW to have fun and experience what it is like to do something out of their bubble,” Fields said.
The UMW Matchmakers hope that, as this semester ends, their hard work will pay off for some students. They also plan to come back in full swing in the fall to make UMW Matchmakers a larger presence on campus.
If people continue to participate by filling out the surveys and going on dates, the matchmakers hope to organize mixers and other events to attract students socialize outside their usual crowds.
For now, however, the UMW Matchmakers just hope to give students an opportunity to experience something new.
“You’re gonna have dinner anyways, so why not have it with someone new?” Fields said.