Davidson Hall Resident Assistant Kenji Fukunaga will be celebrating Valentine’s Day this year with a special Valentine — literally. Junior Amy Valentine has been set up to go on a date with the handsome Hawaiian with the flashy smile.
And with this Valentine’s Day wordplay as its final flourish, so ends the campus dating game that earned the title “Kenji Madness.”
The contest began a simple joke among Fukunaga’s friends in Davidson.
“It originated with Nathan Swanson and Joash Pangilinan, who thought it would be a fun joke to do for Kenji, our RA,” said Davidson resident, Tyler Ferguson. “They invited me so that I could make it happen. I made the applications, tallied up the scores, scheduled the interviews and planned out that whole process.”
“Kenji Madness” was thoroughly planned and thought-out. It even included resident assistants from Davidson’s sister dorm, Balyo. The RAs there advertised the event and encouraged girls to apply. RA Karisa Calderon, Valentine’s roommate, said the Davidson organizers chose her to help out because she knows a lot about Fukunaga.
“Everyone thinks Kenji and I are twins, so the panel wanted me involved,” Calderon recalled.
In “Kenji Madness,” the first step was to fill out an application, which included various questions about favorite movies, an ideal lifestyle, as well as the perfect dream date. 18 Corban hopefuls sent in their application.
“It asked a lot of serious questions that I didn’t take seriously,” Valentine remarked. “I got the information from my roommate because she knows all about Kenji. Then, I made it my own.”
Then came the interview process. The selected contestants were required to bake cookies and meet the panel of judges to answer further questions in person.
“It was very awkward and very serious,” Valentine recalled. “I walked into a room with a batch of cookies, and sat in front of eight people, dressed in suits and ties, who asked lots of questions.” Valentine’s interview and her cookies – chocolate chip oatmeal with a hint of cinnamon – were successful.
Calderon helped write questions for the interview and make the final decision for Fukunaga’s date.
“We narrowed it down to three girls, and then two right off the bat,” she replied.
As for the actual date, Tyler Ferguson is attempting to keep it a secret from Fukunaga.
“A sum of money is going to be given to Kenji and he is going to use it as he chooses when he takes the lucky lady out,” Ferguson said. Kenji’s hall rounded up $30 for him to spend on their date.
That is, if the Valentine’s Day matchmakers can succeed as schedulers too.
“All I know is that he is being difficult in finding a time to go on the date. We are trying to keep it a blind date, but that might change if I end up having them plan when to meet,” he said.
Is Valentine excited to be the winner? “I am, but it’s a little awkward, because he doesn’t know it’s me,” she said.
Calderon also expressed excitement for her roommate: “I’m stoked. I think they’re going to have fun. They are both laid back. It could work. You never know.”