Dani Smotrich-Barr, Photo Editor

Dani Smotrich-Barr, Photo Editor

If you ever doubted the likelihood of the Argus Blind Dating Service™ actually conducting a blind date, you were sorely mistaken. The time has come. Two lucky students came together last night with the possibility of something new—Love? Friendship? A break from staggering loneliness?—in the air. Extensive research was done to determine the location most conducive to cultivate a genuine connection. The answer? A reserved room in Usdan sporting all the necessities for any kind of love. The lights were dimmed, heart stickers littered the room, and a tablecloth that doubles as a doormat was draped over the conference table. The Soft Jazz Candle Romantic Music Spotify playlist was on half blast and a picture of two hearts under one umbrella illuminated the whiteboard in the front of the room. I know: How could two people not find a meaningful connection?

Just as a reminder for those who don’t like to stay up to date with the hottest happenings on Wesleyan’s campus, the Argus Blind Dating Service™ is Wesleyan’s newest matchmaking service. The Argus sets up two Wesleyan students on a blind date in a location, makes them use a meal swipe at Usdan and conducts an inevitably painfully awkward follow-up interview about their experiences. So, ready to meet the very first Argus Blind Dating Service™ participants?

Emma Freeman ’19 and Belén Rodríguez ’19 are both quiet side kind of people and are both ex-neuro majors. And while Emma admitted that the most likely place to find her on a Saturday night was “fountain :/” and Belén answered, “eating dominoes in my room or going out to a party that’s not on fountain,” The Argus was confident such fundamental differences could be overcome. Let’s take a look at some of the participants answers to the blind dating survey:


Why did you sign up for The Argus blind-dating service?

Belén Rodríguez ’19: The grimy skater bois i like on campus are mostly unavailable so i need a new medium of finding love.

Emma Freeman ’19: I’ll try anything once!!


Do you believe in love at first sight?

BR: Probably.

EF: Under certain conditions.


Describe yourself in 3 words.

BR: cynical eco-lovin gal

EF: full of zest


Why are you a catch?

BR: I will listen to your problems and give you the validation u rightfully deserve. i’ll eat spinach/feta cheese greasy dominoes with you and teach u how to play dominos too :)<33

EF: I have many good qualities and few flaws


The best-kept secret at Wesleyan?

BR: Mystical seven exists.

EF: You can make an ice cream float at usdan if you get vanilla soft serve in a cup and then fill it with soda.


Freeman arrived promptly at 7:02 for the 7 p.m. date, waiting at the bottom of the stairs inside Usdan clearly dressed ready to impress. The Argus chatted with her a bit about her reservations and expectations. At around 7:13, Rodríguez arrived, assuaging Freeman’s worry that she might be stood up. The Argus ushered them into a reserved room (Usdan 136), and immediately the dynamic switched. The music and decor were working their magic. Freeman went upstairs to get food, Rodríguez had already eaten (in the future, the Argus Blind Dating Service™ will make sure the participants know food is a part of the date), and The Argus left them alone. An hour later, after several walks-by, The Argus entered the room and apologized profusely, sorry to break up what seemed like a true connection.

The people were promised an evaluation of the first Argus Blind Dating Service™ date in the history of The Argus. Here’s the lowdown.


On a campus of 3,000 people, truly blind dates are a little unrealistic. Did you know your match beforehand?

EF: Yeah, so she was maybe actually my first Wesleyan Facebook friend. That’s not necessarily fact, but I think that’s true. She’s also good friends with one of my really close friends. Also, we were in the same bio class freshman year and we’re both in WesMass, this group for women and students of color in STEM.

BR: Yes, we actually did. We both initially met at this summer program before freshman year when we were both really into STEM. We met through that summer program because the first semester of freshman year there was a Friday colloquium that happened and everyone in the program had to go.


What were your expectations going in?

EF: So, up until an hour beforehand, I had none. I was just prepared for anything. However, then an hour beforehand someone did spoil who it was going to be, which was too bad, but I bounced back.

BR: I don’t know, I was a little bit nervous because I heard there would be a reserved room, so I was wondering what that would be like. I definitely wasn’t expecting this, that’s for sure.


Were your expectations met?

EF: What I was hoping for was a genuinely good conversation because I think it’s a lot to expect that I would find true love. And I definitely had a really nice dinner and a really nice time. No matter what happens between Belén and I, we’ll always have this great dinner.

BR: Well, considering I really didn’t have any expectations before, I would say this exceeded my expectations. The whole setup was really nice and talking with Emma was nice because she’s a really great person. I’ve never really sat down and had a conversation with Emma, so that was nice.


Would you go on another blind date?

EF: This was actually my second blind date. The first one was also kind of this is a nice time type of deal and I think I would, I’m always game.  

BR: Yes, I think I would. This was my first blind date, so I didn’t know what to expect. I was like, “Should I google ‘how to prepare for blind dates?’” But it was great, I would definitely go on a blind date again.


Although the future of this pairing is unclear, the future of the Argus Blind Dating Service™ is secure. Contact this author if you’re interested in being set up on a fun blind date, complete with a Usdan dinner and a semi-stranger!


Claudia Stagoff-Belfort can be reached at cstagoffbelf@wesleyan.edu. 

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