Single College employees use social network

by Jennifer Chen | 10/19/98 5:00am

Imagine: the sun has set, papers are graded, lectures are planned and the small town of Hanover is alive with possibilities. So where do all the single professors go at this dark hour?

While some favor relaxing at home, others choose to attend events with fellow members of the Dartmouth Community Single Employees Network.

According to Dining Services Accounting Clerk Linda Westbom, a senior board member for DCSEN, approximately 50 to 60 people, including professors, hospital employees, graduate students and administrative staff, are active members of this group.

Though most are in their 30s, members range in age from their 20s to their 60s.

Liela Eastman, a former member, founded the group three years ago, in an attempt to create a comfortable environment for singles to meet others with similar interests.

The DCSEN organizes small, optional small social gatherings such as occasional trips to Murphy's on the Green, tours of the Hood Museum, outings to the Hopkins Center, hikes, dances and movies.

Occasionally, approximately 10 people take weekend trips to Montreal or Boston for dinner and dancing, a day of shopping and trips to the botanical gardens and aquariums or a night at the theater.

The DCSEN also holds mixers with the Twin State Breakfast Club and Single Gourmet, allowing members to meet a wider range of people in the area.

Although it may be difficult to meet singles around Hanover, Westbom said some feel it is even more difficult to meet people in cities like New York. She said the smallness of the town creates an environment in which it is "easier to connect" with others.

The network's social events allow "you [to] meet people you wouldn't ordinarily be able to meet," member Joseph O'Connell said.

For him, the DCSEN has opened up opportunities to not only meet new people, but also experience a broader range of cultural events through trips to the Hopkins Center and Hood Museum.

Though the network is not a dating service, some people do cultivate short or long-term relationships with fellow members and leave the "support group," as O'Connell called it.

This informal group recruits new members continuously through BlitzMail Bulletins and heavy advertising.

With large group meetings only once a season, DCSEN usually sends out notices about smaller gatherings through BlitzMail Bulletins the members monitor.

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