By Adrienne Goodrich
The afternoon after Campus Pastor Dan Huber introduced his children and wife during chapel, he walked around campus wearing a nametag that stated, “speed-date me.”
Don’t worry; it’s not as bad as it looks.
In fact, Huber was simply participating in an icebreaker for commuter students, a get-to-know-you session over lunch on Monday, and he wasn’t seriously looking for romance. Neither were any of the 16 Corban faculty and staff who “speed-dated” non-resident Corban students in this year’s first Student Life activity for commuters.
Brenda Roth, assistant director of Student Life, plans several spiritual discussions with free lunches for commuters each semester that she calls “Soup and Substance,” but this is the first time she has tried something so elaborate to connect off-campus students with the Corban community.
“I don’t know how I came up with it,” she said Monday. “Commuters are a hard audience to meet, but I thought the tags and the title would get people’s attention.”
The faculty and staff wore the “speed-date me” tags for two days, and e-mails and class announcements helped to advertise the event.
“Brenda made me do it,” said professor Ryan Stark, a new professor in the English department. “She made me an offer that I couldn’t refuse: free lunch and wearing this nametag for two days.”
Free lunch was not only a draw for the professors, but the students as well. Jonathon Anderson said that he came for the free food.
“I heard it announced in one of my classes,” he said after moving down the line, talking briefly with each faculty or staff member about such things as jobs, majors, pets, and how the summer went.
“I like that she has something for the commuter students,” said Ellen Zarfas, a speed-dater from the financial aid office. “It’s hard to connect with them sometimes because there is no central place for them to hang out.”
Roth said that she plans to keep speed-dating as a possible fall event to help lead into the school year. “I think everyone had fun and that it was a success,” she said.