Let’s face it – whether you are into relationships, friends with benefits or one-night stands, dating is a huge part of college life. With hooks-ups on the brain, some University of Miami students use the school’s classrooms, gym and even elevators to pick up a potential date.
A senior, who wishes to remain anonymous, met her boyfriend at the Wellness Center. She is now working her third year at the center’s front desk and pro shop, during which she has seen a lot of “creepy, weird things.” She has witnessed countless male college students at the center with the intent to “pick up” girls. She notes that her employee nametag often provides an opening for guys “looking to start up a conversation or use a cheesy pick-up line.”
“I did experience one good situation while working here,” she said, referring to meeting the guy she is currently dating. “I was working at the pro shop and there was this guy who came in regularly during my shift. I thought he was kind of cute, and he was always friendly and would come over and talk to me.”
Once December break had come and gone, however, she worried that with her change of schedule she might not see him again. “Then one day he came in during my shift and asked me out to dinner in front of all of my co-workers,” she said. “It was kind of awkward.” Awkward or not, the strategy apparently worked because the two are still dating almost a year later.
While sparks are flying for some in the Wellness Center, others feel that there are better places to meet the opposite sex.
“Definitely not the gym,” Matt Reed, a sophomore, said. “Girls don’t want to be hit on while they’re all sweaty.”
Sophomore Nick Cote, a friend of Reed’s, said he found classes to be the easiest place to approach a girl.
“I just pop a squat next to her and ask a question about the subject. Then I can deviate from there,” Cote said.
Jared Powers, a sophomore, sat with his friends at an outdoor table at the Rat. While none of the guys admitted to going there to meet girls, Powers did acknowledge that “that sort of thing does go down here more than other spots on campus.”
“Well sure, there’s alcohol here,” Cote agreed. “A few pitchers of beer always gets the conversation flowing.”
Some male students said that when they spot an attractive girl, they use any excuse to start a conversation, such as “Don’t I have a class with you?” instead of manufactured pick-up lines. Sophomore Maneesh Gujrati spoke of similar tactics, adding that the library is his locale of choice.
“The first floor of the library is the best place to meet girls,” Maneesh said. “I just say ‘Oh, you’re studying chemistry too?’ and then I sit down and start talking to them.”
Jennifer Katz, a sophomore, gets more than just facts and lab skills out of her science courses.
“I have definitely been approached by guys at biology workshops,” Katz said. “They’re much smaller than the regular classes, so you get the chance to really meet people.”
Some students said that on-campus flirtation can escalate at off-campus locations, such as nearby Coconut Grove.
“I was at a club in the Grove last semester and I saw this Australian exchange student from my scuba club,” Katz said. “I went up to him and just started talking about scuba, and we ended up together for the rest of the night.”
Katz said her involvement in salsa and water polo has opened up many opportunities with guys as well.
When it comes to the university’s outdoor pool, Saturdays are all about the freshmen, said lifeguard T.C. Sadtler, a senior.
“Now that freshmen can’t have cars, they spend their Saturdays at the pool,” Sadtler said. “The girls come around noon and the guys follow around 3 or 4 p.m.”
Ameri Wheeler, a junior, said she doesn’t use the pool for that reason.
“Everybody’s always laying out and relaxing, usually with a book to read,” Wheeler said. “Nobody’s too obvious about it.” She did add, however, that many guys and girls seem to scope out the crowd while entering and exiting the pool. “There are always a lot of attractive people here,” Wheeler said.
Sophomore Lauren Woodard said that Greek life is a great way for her to make connections with new flings.
“Homecoming events and Greek Week really bring the fraternities and sororities together,” Woodard said.
Woodard also had a unique hot spot to share – the Mahoney elevators.
“I got into the elevator with this cute guy and we realized we lived on the same floor!” she said. “Then, he happened to be in there again on my way down so we got to know each other some more.”
Matt McKee, a senior, said he has met most potential flings in the dorms.
“You host a party in your room and people bring their friends,” McKee said. “So many people you didn’t know before end up there and you get to know them.”
McKee first noticed his current boyfriend, sophomore Marc Sherwin, hanging out around Mahoney. The two then bumped into each other again at a house party months later and hit it off. The architecture major and his pre-med boyfriend have now been happily dating for over six months.
At a university as lively as UM, romance can happen anywhere, at any time. Who knows? Maybe an unexpected meeting at the gym will make those exhausting treadmill workouts benefit your health and love life.