By ELIZABETH GOLDEN
Pink and red hearts hung from the ceilings. Paper flowers lined the 12 tables as an array of cookies lay untouched. Students gradually entered Cody Commons in the Memorial Union of Fort Hays State University.
Approximately 30 students attended the third annual speed dating event Thursday sponsored by University Activity Board.
"Two of my friends had great success last year," said Nyasha Maforo, events coordinator for UAB. "People always seem to meet really good friends and have a great time."
Participants were allotted three to five minutes per date, and the girls rotated from table to table. Girls outnumbered guys two to one.
"It's not always romantic," Maforo said. "It's just good to meet people who you may have never met."
The majority of participants were freshman who live in the dorms.
"I'm an RA, so I brought my residents out," said Alec Weaver, a junior from Spring Hill. "It's kind of like I'm a chaperone, but I'm having a good time."
Isaiah Maxi, a freshman from Kansas City, Mo., was speed dating for the first time.
"My friend asked me to come," Maxi said. "I'm just here to have a good time and try something new."
Other participants had similar goals.
"I just wanted to get out of the house and meet some people," said Jamar Brown, a junior from Chicago. "I went last year and met some cool people. I wasn't really trying to look for love, I was looking for friendship and I met a lot of friends."
Maforo said most people who attend are looking for friendship.
"Whatever happens, happens," she said. "If you meet someone, great; that's a good thing."
Erick Perez, a UAB member, joked about participating in the event.
"You never know what could happen here tonight," said Perez, a sophomore from Wichita who assisted in setting up the event. "People could just find a Valentine's Day date, or it could be true love."
Hylie Dibbern met many friends, and a possible relationship.
"I just came for fun," said Dibbern, a freshman from Cairo, Neb. "There was one guy I kind of liked, but I didn't come expecting to find a date."
Dibbern said her "dates" usually did the majority of the talking and asked basic questions.
"They would ask about my hobbies, where I'm from, what I'm doing here," she said.
Shelby Young, a KAMS student from Chapman, had no intention of finding a relationship.
"I just came with a group of guys for fun," Young said. "So I already knew half of the guys I was talking to."