BY ILYSSA MANN
Student Government Association (SGA) held the Big Little Speed Dating social on Oct. 25 to pair experienced members with new members. SGA adviser Danielle Nascimento said the goal of pairing “vets” with “newbies” gave older and younger members a chance to learn about each other and meet their new mentors.
“I think the whole mentor program is great because it gives the younger, new [students] someone to talk to,” Nascimento said.
Students spoke in pairs for one minute then switched partners. Nacimiento said this allowed everyone to have a brief conversation with one another and see who they felt they related to well.
“This social is basically speed dating,” Nascimento said. “I definitely think it is an important event for SGA because once we pair them together, we can do a bunch of [activities] where we offer opportunities for bigs and littles to hangout and bond.”
Once everyone had the opportunity to meet each other, the bigs and littles wrote the names of three people they believe they could learn from the best. Nascimento said the pairs usually match up, since people tend to easily acknowledge when they form a true connection.
“I think it’s great and I like the speed dating concept of the event,” Nascimento said. “The students have a lot of fun doing [this speed dating game] and it allows them to talk to everyone.”
While rotating around the tables, junior Samantha Brodsky said she met all of the “newbies” andfigured out with whom she worked the best. She said it was exciting knowing one of these people would be her future little.
“I like how [the social] ran on the idea of first impressions. You get to briefly meet someone and you only have a short amount of time to figure out how you feel about them,” Brodsky said. “From there, you decide who you would like to mentor and spend more time with in the future, all based on your first impression, which can be scary but is ultimately very exciting.”
Nascimento said during the social the students choose their top three picks, and then SGA will pair the students together based on the results received. Brodsky said she formed instant connections with some students which made it easy for her to make her three choices of littles.
“There were a few people who I thought I just got along with really easily; the conversation just flowed without trying,” Brodsky said. “There was also a girl who reminded me a lot of myself when I was a freshman, so I knew [I was interested in] her being my little.”
Brodsky had a little last year, but said she was eager to go meet this year’s SGA “newbies” and find another little. She said she loved the experience of teaching them the ropes of SGA and was excited to have the opportunity to do it again this year.
“I was so excited because I always see cute things littles and bigs get for each other [and do together], and I can’t wait to be creative and spoil my little,” Brodsky said. “I’m looking forward to becoming good friends with them and helping them with anything they need.”
Freshman Noah Benson attended the social seeking a big. He said he’s been looking forward to the event ever since the day he got into SGA, since he knew it would be a good opportunity to meet people who could be helpful to him and make some new friends.
“Everyone was different and had so many stories and pieces of advice to give me, since, I’m a freshman. Every time the buzzer went off to switch tables I felt like I still had a ton to talk about with the person and I didn’t want to leave,” Benson said. “Each conversation was only about one to two minutes, but, I managed to learn so much about each person in those short windows of time.”
After talking to approximately 55 potential bigs, Benson said it was difficult to narrow it down to three people he felt he could connect with best, since he believed he connected with many people with whom he spoke.
“It was really hard to choose who I [think I could learn best from] by the end of the social [since there were so many amazing options],” Benson said. “The process was really cool, and as I got to know the older students, I started to hang around a couple of the same tables more and learn even more about the bigs that I had really liked.”
Overall, Benson said it was a fun way to spend the afternoon, and it gave him insight on the older students in SGA, since he hadn’t met most of them.
“It was definitely important to have this event because it was a chance for us ‘newbies’ to meet the older SGA [members] in an organized, friendly way,” Benson said. “It was a lot of fun because I had my friends there with me and I was also making new ones.”