College romances get a twist in digital age

 

Photo by Rebecca Rebholz/ rebecca.rebholz@mu.edu
Photo by Rebecca Rebholz/ rebecca.rebholz@mu.edu

The current generation of students is often coined “the technology generation,” mostly because students are perceived as unable to perform daily activities without using a computer or cell phone. That list of activities now includes dating. 

A Facebook application called “Bang with Friends” launched last year and now has almost 15,000 likes. The purpose of the application is to have users determine whether one would “bang” one of her or his Facebook friends. If the other person agrees, an email will be sent telling the users they have a match.

Another application that has grown immensely popular is the iPhone application “Tinder,” which has exploded on college campuses. It has a similar concept to “Bang with Friends,” as those participating choose whether they think someone else is attractive. In some cases, the app has led to people exchanging phone numbers and even going on dates.

Frank Berce, a freshman in the College of Communication, said that while the app may not be wholesome, it has value for someone new to college.

“I feel like it gives someone the chance to tell people how they feel in a subtle way,” Berce said. “It gives college kids who are looking to meet people the opportunity to show that they want to be more than just friends.”

While online applications like these do draw some users, most people still meet potential romances during face-to-face interaction. During freshmen orientation at Marquette, for example, students learn early on from orientation staff members that the annual square dance is an especially popular way to meet one’s future spouse.

Caitlin Zapf, a freshman in the College of Education, said she could have some serious problems if the square dance determined her future husband.

“I did not go to the square dance during orientation, so it looks like I am not getting married,” Zapf said. “I guess that is cool.”

Adam Pulte, a sophomore in the College of Communication, reconnected with his current girlfriend Sam Wenson, a sophomore in the College of Health Sciences, after he transferred to Marquette after first semester last year. Both grew up in Detroit and once together at Marquette, their relationship grew.

“She started talking to me, getting me acquainted with school and people,” Pulte said. “Then, this year, we just started talking more and more.”

Pulte said the legends of love at Marquette could be true, and the environment at the university has some credit in his relationship.

“I think it is the quality of people at Marquette,” Pulte said. “I have a lot of life long friends and someone who I am happy with. We work well and have a good relationship. I don’t know if that is just Marquette or how things just worked out.”

If an alumnus is celebrating an anniversary with a fellow Marquette graduate, he or she can submit a class note to MU Connect. In addition, the university has a “hashtag” that they hope young lovers will use on Twitter entitled #mulove.