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Students scramble to find ‘the one’ during speed dating activity at the Hale Pavilion

Students sit at a table with white linens and Hersey's kisses with boys on one side and girls on the other side.

The BYU–Hawaii Residential Advisors Traditions Committee organized a speed dating activity on Feb. 6 with white linen tables full of people, Hershey’s Kisses, laughing, chattering and live music at the Hale Pavilion.

In preparation for Valentine’s Day, the activity brought in many male and female students from different majors and countries. The event was a great opportunity to meet new people and to have fun, according to students in attendance.

Students were given questions to ask their partners and moved around the table every few minutes, while a list of pop songs played in the background. Later in the night, a student sang live romantic music, supporting the Valentine’s Day vibe at the Pavilion.


Autumn Barraclough, a sophomore from Virginia majoring in English, said, “[It was] a bunch of people from different countries eating Hershey’s Kisses and talking about life.”

The hope of the event was to help students get out of their comfort zones, possibly find dates for Valentine’s Day and meet new friends, said Ofa Filimoehala, a senior from Tonga majoring in information technology and an RA from Hale 8.

According to Filimoehala, “Speed dating is a great opportunity to see the difference of people and see what you like and don’t like.” She shared it is an opportunity to talk to people face to face.

Fehi Vahu, a junior from Tonga majoring in biology, said the goal for the activity was to help people get to know one another. He noted how it was an opportunity for “building a network of friends.” The committee's goal is to provide activities and traditions for the students to connect and have a good time.


Barraclough said she isn’t looking for a relationship but enjoyed how her conversations naturally flowed. “It was more laid back than I had thought.”

Clark Xu, a junior from Taiwan majoring in information systems, said he was invited by a friend and came for the pizza but enjoyed the music. He suggested “different questions that are more personal for the future.”

Anna Sheffield, a junior from Iowa majoring in vocal performance, shared how she enjoyed making friends and talking to people she hasn’t met before. She said, “It was fun to get out of my comfort zone, and also the pizza was good.”

Vahu stated he got to know more about people, what they like, their favorite food and more. This allowed him to connect with different people from different countries. He said before he was mostly spending time with his friends from Tonga.

Future opportunities

Breanne Gibb, an RA from Ohio majoring in communications, commented, “We hope to keep the activity as a tradition and will be organizing with our team future opportunities for speed dating.”

Filimoehala said she hopes for future events like this one to bring people together instead of going to a dance and leaving without communication and connection.