Southern Utah University’s Student Programming Board held a Speed Friending event on March 9. The event allowed students from all walks of life to socialize and make new friends during this socially distanced semester.
The event took place in the Sharwan Smith Student Center Ballroom. Numerous tables were set up with various colors, indicating a subject matter students could talk about for five minutes such as music, outdoors and travel.
When asked about the inspiration behind the event, the event director Courtney Shively shared that she wanted to give students the opportunity to meet new people.
“I feel like a lot of students, especially first-year students, have had a struggle getting to know each other with COVID, and like the lack of events, and it’s hard to socialize,” Shively said.
According to those who participated, creating an environment that allowed students to socialize during these times was a major success.
“I thought it was fun,” Abby Cannon, a biology major at SUU, said. “It was a great way to meet people. I was a little skeptical about coming, but I met a lot of really cool people.”
The event brought students from all over SUU’s student body. Even international students came to join in on the meet and greet, as some of the attendees were from Africa, Thailand, Mongolia, South Korea and Japan.
With the state of the world during the COVID-19 pandemic, socializing with other students has been a big issue for many.
“The masks make it hard to see people’s facial expressions. It just doesn’t seem the same as it was before. You can’t really express your emotions to people as much,” said Berkeley Larsen, an SUU communication major and soccer team member.
The world that college students find themselves in is a hard one. COVID-19 increases the challenges of forming friendships, which SPB is trying to combat with events throughout the semester.
Story and photo by: Skyler Jones