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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Date Knight postponed to Winter Term

Date Knight, one of Carleton’s historic traditions, will be postponed this fall and moved to later in the year. Students are given the chance to set up their friends and roommates on blind dates, all while making them spend weeks guessing who they could be going out with on the Friday of 8th week. These lovebirds must then find each other via paired nametags, like Peanut Butter and Jelly or Doofenshmirtz and Perry, that are left in their mailboxes in the days leading up to the event. Luckily for everyone, the participants are provided a wide variety of events to bring their dates to. 

Popular choices in recent years have been canoeing with CANOE, watching a cappella concerts in the Weitz, ballroom dance lessons, and even waiting almost an hour in line for free boba. Of course, students are not required to attend any of these events, and students can often be found walking around outside as well. But this is all changing, as the Student Activities Office (SAO) has moved Date Knight to February 24th, the Friday of 8th week in Winter Term.

SAO’s move to suspend Date Knight would be their first time doing so since the COVID-19 pandemic. Historically, this event has been used as a fun event to bring people together, who would be unlikely to go on a date with each other without some help from their friends. Date Knight has always been popular among freshmen, who are excited by the opportunity to set their roommates up on dates that range from perfect matches to awkward and incompatible.

This change has left many students wondering why SAO would move Date Knight to Winter Term. For as long as anyone can remember, this has been a fall term tradition. Freshmen are still in their first term at the school, while the rest of the student body can push off the stress of the end of the term. And if they’re lucky, they might even find love.

Part of the change, according to Jamie Klein ’25, a student who works on Special Events in SAO, is “due to Sayles undergoing significant renovations.” Klein continues that “students are told to find each other in the mail room and on the ground floor of Sayles. Due to the complete closure of Sayles, that’s not possible, and unfortunately, there’s not many other places on campus which would work well.”

Without Sayles, the event also lacks one of its primary locations for students to spend the evening. Multiple events are hosted there and would have to be relocated to other places around campus, which makes organizing the whole night a lot more difficult.Klein continues that SAO has a lot on its plate this time of year. “SAO is busy organizing other fall term events, such as Hauntcert, a Halloween themed concert, which is happening 7th weekend.”

Other students who are going abroad this year are frustrated by the lack of notice about Date Knight changing. Sasha Monks, a sophomore, said she was excited to go this year but can’t anymore since she will be abroad this Winter. Robert Healy, a junior going abroad this Spring, also expressed some discontent that there had been no consultation of the student body before making this change. 

Monks further expressed concern over the clothing required for the winter weather, saying “You’re supposed to look sexy for Date Knight.” She elaborated that winter weather attire isn’t conducive to that goal. “How are you supposed to look sexy with a winter coat on?” 

This was a common refrain among students wondering how the weather would affect the experience of Date Knight. The freezing weather, piles of snow and biting winds would prevent students from spending much of the night outside and could potentially overcrowd the indoor spaces that allow students to relax. The event’s date places it just ten days after Valentine’s Day, which has the risk of stealing Date Knight’s thunder and chance to be the primary date event of the term. Additionally, the midwinter ball is taking place on February 4th, creating a high concentration of events in the middle of Winter term.

Ellie Simon, a sophomore, expressed concern that “the Winter is just not the right vibe for Date Knight. The cold weather,and dark days just don’t bring the type of energy that students want for a campus wide blind date event.” Simon argues that in contrast to the winter time “the fall is the perfect time, with the change of seasons bringing people together, especially before the beginning of the winter when people typically become more closed off and insular.”

As of now, this is not a permanent change. So far, this event has only been rescheduled for this school year. If the student body ends up liking the change, SAO may be open to seeing about moving the event permanently. However, it seems that many students are not particularly excited about moving the date permanently. Hopefully we can make the best of this move and enjoy some hot chocolate and ice skating for our Date Knight adventures. Regardless, students are still hoping to make the best of any change to this Carleton tradition. 


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