After a three-year hiatus from the two dating competition events, the Student Activities Committee decided to bring back the old tradition.
MICE—Men Initiate Creative Entertainment—dates occurred Feb. 3-4, and TWIRP—The Woman is Required to Pay—dates will be happening Feb. 10-11.
Danielle Keller, coordinator of student activities, said that the competition had stopped in the spring of 2009 because of a lack of momentum and participation. In light of current evaluations of the needs of the campus and conversations with various students, it was decided to bring it back this year.
Keller added that one reason for the event’s return was because of the success of the blind dating project last semester. “That really verified the choice we had made,” she said.
She said that in the past, during her years as a student at the University, the competitions have provided an opportunity for people to participate in casual dating, typically in a group setting. She has noticed that women seem to get more interested in TWIRP than men do in MICE.
“This is not meant to be a big deal – we don’t want there to be pressure for a MICE or TWIRP date to lead to marriage,” Keller said.
Junior Kelcie O’Donnell is the student director of Elevate, the group sponsoring the competition. She said that some faculty members as well as seniors who had experienced MICE and TWIRP their freshman year had been asking about having it again.
She said she had heard several students talking about doing group dates for the competitions.
Junior Justin Mertes was in one group that took part in MICE last weekend. The other members of the group were juniors Sam Young, Taylor Wood, Cassie Kelley and Megan Moody and sophomore Sara LaGue. Mertes said the guys intentionally kept the girls in the dark about what they would be doing during the date.
He said their Saturday afternoon activities included a scavenger hunt at Dickson Street Books in Fayetteville and enjoying cider and games while relaxing around a fire place at his house in Bentonville.
Having MICE is definitely a good idea, Mertes said, because otherwise he and his friends would not have been so intentional about what to do during a date.
That is exactly what O’Donnell wants to hear. “It’s healthy to have something such as this that encourages students to put thought into planning dates,” she said. “It also encourages students to do things off campus.”
Students who want to submit their dates for the competition to win $100 are required to email a date description along with either a 1-2 minute video or a PowerPoint with up to 15 pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org by noon on Feb. 15.
Judges will select the three top dates from MICE and from TWIRP. Those videos or slideshows will be shown at the Talent Show on Feb. 18, and University students will have a chance to vote for the most creative date from each group on EagleNet during the following week.