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The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

Speed dating event creates connection on Valentine’s Day

With the second-speed dating event of the academic year, two student organizations played matchmaker with SF State students
Andrew Fogel
People talk during the speed-dating portion of Cupid’s Dash, a queer speed-dating event held in Jack Adams Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. (Andrew Fogel/Golden Gate Xpress)

Red and pink hues covered Jack Adams Hall on Wednesday night as Cupid’s Dash brought students together on the day of love. 

The Education and Referral Organization for Sexuality and the Queer and Trans Resource Center at San Francisco State University co-hosted Cupid’s Dash, their queer speed-dating and friendship-making event. The room was decorated with hearts as students changed seats every three minutes, speaking to multiple people. 

The Women’s Center and The SAFE Place also attended, tabling and answering students’ questions. 

Blake Griffith, the assistant director at QTRC, co-hosted the event with EROS director Camila Hernández. The pair took turns explaining the event rules and telling students when to switch partners. 

“I thought it was nice, I think I just appreciate just how interactive it was,” said Jaren Bautista, a cinema major whose friends encouraged them to go to the event. “I don’t regret it at all. I just wanted to have fun, talk with people, get to know someone and hopefully make some connections that go outside of this room.” 

According to the EROS director, planning for Cupid’s Dash has been underway since last semester, culminating in a lively speed dating event that engaged 67 students for just over two hours. 

“We [Hernández and Griffith] just had to be meticulous with planning and how we wanted it to run,” Hernández said. “We wanted to make sure different kinds of people were accommodated.” 

The EROS director organized the speed dating activity, so only some were required to move to accommodate any mobility issues. Only the rows facing the stage in Jack Adams Hall switched seats when the time came. 

Lindsay Rucker, a sociology major, holds up Valentine’s cards she made at the craft table at Cupid’s Dash, a queer speed-dating event in Jack Adams Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. (Andrew Fogel/Golden Gate Xpress) (Andrew Fogel)

Those not wanting to participate in speed dating could make Valentine’s cards in the back of the room. Tables were laden with construction paper, markers, stickers and scissors.  Two out of three rows of tables were filled as students talked amongst themselves. EROS and QTRC printed out a list of conversation starters, including 

“What’s your major and why did you choose it?” 

 “Who is your queer icon or role model, and how have they inspired you?” 

Students took advantage of meeting face-to-face to find a romantic partner rather than scrolling on a dating app. 

“I definitely think just the in-person interaction is much more valuable than just Tinder,” said Mario Cruz, a broadcasting major who has never been interested in a dating app. “Everyone is just trying to get to know each other and it piqued my interest there.” 

After the speed dating and friend-making section ended, students could fill out cards to give to other participants. 

Monica Perry, the office manager of EROS, took Polaroid photographs of students as they signed into the event. Each student was assigned a white envelope where they put their picture and write their name. During the “mingle” portion of the night, students could fill out either a heart for romantic intention or a chat bubble for platonic intention. 

“It’s just really nice to see everyone’s uniqueness and getting to know people,” said Aira Gumban, a kinesiology major at SFSU. 

Gumban said they felt warmly welcomed at the event and relished the opportunity to forge new friendships within the queer community on campus. They enthusiastically exchanged contact information, including their phone number and social media details, with the connections they made by the end of the night.

QTRC hosted another event last semester, called Speed Dating and Friend Making. Griffith, the assistant director, was impressed with the turnout at this semester’s reiteration. He mentioned Cupid’s roster, which held the envelopes for students to put their contact information after the event. A queer-centered event and safe space for students to create community was important to Griffith. 

“I really feel you could make friends out of this,” Griffith said. “I really hope people do make friends and romance out of it.”

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About the Contributors
Natalie Metcalf
Natalie Metcalf, Staff Reporter
Natalie Metcalf (she/her) is a staff reporter from the Golden Gate Xpress. She is majoring in journalism and minoring in creative writing. She was born in New York City and raised in Los Angeles. Metcalf has previously worked as The Valley Life editor at The Valley Star, the independent student newspaper at Los Angeles Valley College. During her free time, she enjoys reading, journaling, writing poetry and making themed Spotify playlists.
Andrew Fogel
Andrew Fogel, Photographer
Andrew Fogel is a photographer for Golden Gate Xpress and Xpress Magazine who’s majoring in photojournalism and minoring in labor and employment studies. If he’s not taking photos, Andrew can be found rooting for the various Philadelphia sports teams. He aspires to be either a staff photographer or a sports photographer in the future.

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