Eastern Michigan University’s Campus Life and the Office of Wellness & Community Responsibility presents Virtual Speed Friending, every Thursday via Zoom. Virtual Speed Friending is an event for EMU students who would like to have the opportunity to meet other students and get to know each other.
The event started on Jan. 28, 2021, and is on Zoom every Thursday from 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m., ending April 8, 2021. The event is co-hosted by Keri Geis from the Office of Wellness & Community Responsibility, and Isabel Berg, who is the Undergraduate Assistant of Activities and Engagement with Campus Life.
The idea for speed friending was put together between Campus Life and the Office of Wellness and Community Responsibility.
“For the office I work at, I was trying to look and see what students were looking for and what they might need from a wellness perspective. On the EMU Engage App, I saw a lot of people were kind of talking about how it was hard to make friends. I was trying to think of a way to be able to provide that for students. Nick, who is my boss, mentioned RHA [Residence Housing Association] originally doing an event called Speed Friending and I ended up getting connected with Isabel and we started brainstorming and talking about hosting the event," said Geis.
During the Zoom meetings, icebreakers are asked and participants are also broken up into breakout room groups and rotated throughout the hour-long event. It is a chance for EMU students to talk with other students to find common interests and it gives students the chance to exchange social media or phone numbers so they can remain connected after the event.
The hope is to build friendships easily which may be a challenge nowadays due to COVID-19.
“We hope that not only do they get their fill of social interaction but they also may come back again because it was a positive and welcoming experience for them. So then, we could create a community for people to come, sit down, talk, and meet new people,” said Berg.
Participants are also encouraged to log the event in the EMU Engage App and scan the event’s QR code to earn points that can win a various amount of prizes.
“When I found out about Speed Friending, I wanted to hop on because I love meeting new people," Emily Kacic, an EMU student, said. "It is also a lot of fun and I still keep in contact with the new people I met."