Students discuss dating at Dartmouth

by Mark Shahinian | 7/23/96 5:00am

About 40 students gathered at Alpha Delta fraternity last night to discuss the difficulties of dating at Dartmouth and the obstacles of alcohol, Blitzmail and a small campus.

The discussion began with participants gathering in small groups to list what traits they sought in friendships and relationships.

At the end of the discussion, participants focused on obstacles to dating at Dartmouth.

While most agreed it is difficult to have a real relationship at Dartmouth, there were many different theories to explain the problem.

One female student said that this might be the fault of the students themselves.

"People talk too much," she said. "They share too much of their private lives with everybody."

Another complaint was directed at what many see as a lack of social options on campus. One male student said, "a fraternity basement can only take you so far in a relationship."

Many students saw getting beyond a couple's first meeting in a basement as a major problem.

Also cited as factors hindering dating were alcohol and Blitzmail, the College's electronic mail system.

Director of Health Services Gabrielle Lucke, who, with sexual abuse counselor Susan Murphy, led the discussion told the story of a student who came to her because he thought he had an alcohol problem.

He had seen his girlfriend that day, and had nothing to say to her. In the three months they had been going out, it was the first time they had seen each other sober.

While alcohol was described as a social facilitator, students complained that if they first meet someone intoxicated, it is more difficult to judge whether to pursue the relationship or to let it drop.

Several participants pointed to Blitzmail as a social problem. They said it hurts verbal communication skills and allows people to keep up the appearance of concern for friends while spending only moments writing.

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