Valentine's Speed Dating & Social

The GPSS 2012 Speed Dating and Social was held on February 9th in the Mezzanine of the UW tower. Over 400 grads attended this year's event--more than double the number of attendees last year! Thanks to all the grads and volunteers who helped make this evening a great success!

Alisa Reznick, a contributing writer for the UW Daily, came to see what the fuss was about. Read her write-up of the event below (source:

Gpss Speed-Dating Offers Grad Students A Break

Graduate students Julie Michelman and Karthik Mohan engage in a two-minute conversation during a round of speed-dating.

Graduate students Julie Michelman and Karthik Mohan engage in a two-minute conversation during a round of speed-dating. Photo by Alisa Reznick

Valentine’s Day may be little less awkward this year after the annual speed-dating and social event managed to bring graduate students out of the library and into the social spirit Thursday at the UW Tower.

Hosted by the Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS), the annual event offers students a night of wine, games, cookies, and of course, several hundred two-minute dates.

“First impression and appearance, that’s all you get,” said Chris Bajuk, a third-year graduate student earning a Master of Science in real estate.

For two hours, participants moved down the table in musical-chair fashion as booming song clips signaled the end of each dating interval. Each participant was given a nametag and a number. When a speed-date went well, students entered each other’s numbers on the online database.

“We pair up those numbers, and, for people that are matched, we send them one another’s email addresses,” GPSS Treasurer Colin Goldfinch said.

For many graduate students, the event provided an opportunity to interact with students outside their field of study.

“It gives people a chance to meet folks from other parts of campus,” Goldfinch said of the GPSS goal.

Creating a larger community for the graduate student body is an important goal for the GPSS, and the students are glad for the help.

“It gets me out of my office,” said Michelle Dillon, a first-year graduate student of the Library Information Sciences department. “Grad students tend to naturally sequester themselves in their offices.”

While some look only to branch out, others hope to find a true and meaningful connection.

“I’m here to meet a lovely, intelligent lady,” Bajuk said. “It’s not impossible to date outside the university and find time to get out, but the nice thing about this program is you know everyone’s single … and they’re probably more driven to succeed, [which is something] you look for in a potential date.”

The event began a few years ago as a way to create a stronger graduate student community. It has not lost popularity over the years, as more than 400 graduate students participated this year.

Reach contributing writer Alisa Reznick at






2011 Valentine's Speed Dating Event

Every Winter we host a speed dating event, which is the perfect opportunity to meet that special someone, who just might be a fellow UW graduate or professional student.  Check back in late January to learn more.  The registration always fills up quickly, so make sure to register early!

Over 200 people participated in the 2011 Speed Dating event.  Here are a few photos: