April Fools Debate: should BJU require artist series dates?

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April Fools Debate: should BJU require artist series dates?

"My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!" Photo: Nick Zukowski and Andrew Pledger

This article contains fictional content. Happy April Fools’ Day!

Affirmative

Over the past decade, Bob Jones University has experienced an unprecedented decline in the number of students who graduate without a significant other. The University needs to reinforce the “Love” in the school’s tagline, “Learn. Love. Lead.”

The administration has finally taken notice of this dire problem this academic year, but previous plans to deal with the issue have all failed. Perhaps most disappointingly, limiting the booths in the DC to two occupants had no noticeable effect on the rate of relationship formation. If forcing two students to sit next to each other while they eat won’t work, what will? After the failure of these and other innovative ideas, I believe we are left with only one choice: Bob Jones University must immediately require all students to take dates to artist series.

Of course, it would be foolish to expect all students to find dates on their own. Therefore, the University must create a new department, the Office of Matchmaking, to assist in the process. The Office of Matchmaking will set up blind dates for those who fail to find a date by the week of artist series. Professors, resident assistants and other staff members will suggest potential pairings, and employees of the new office will match up other students based on a fool-proof proprietary love algorithm.

The benefits of blind dates have been firmly established by numerous scientific studies. According to a recent report from the University of Romantic Studies, those who go on blind dates have a 90% higher likelihood of going on more dates than their peers. Other studies have shown they relieve stress, increase grades and even extend your lifespan. Blind dates also lead to a lot of memorable situations, including meeting people you do not get along with. Being forced to sit and talk with people you can’t stand builds character.

Never go up against a Sicilian when dates are on the line!” Photo: Nick Zukowski and Andrew Pledger

Mandatory artist series dates will also benefit the BJU community by making it more vibrant. When we walk across campus, wouldn’t we all rather see benches full of well-dressed couples caught up in their own world of romance than a single student caught up in studying for a history test?

Another way this will improve the campus atmosphere is by giving the more timid members of the student body a chance to go on dates they would normally miss out on. If you’re forced to give the quiet guy in the back row of your Pathways group a chance, he will blossom into a suave conversationalist.

Next, this new policy will help local businesses, which have been struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. My estimates indicate that nearly 25% of local flower shops’ sales will be driven by BJU students if the administration implements my plan. This remarkable support from the campus will strengthen our ties with the community.

But I know the business-minded administration won’t be convinced by these arguments. I’ve saved the most important reason for last. If a mandatory dating policy is instituted, students will get engaged and married earlier. If students get engaged and married earlier, they will have more time to have children. And if they have more time to have children, they can send them to BJU and grow the student body. In light of these compelling reasons, Bob Jones University must require students to go on dates for each and every artist series.

Negative

Like everyone else on campus, I am appalled by the recent decline in fruitful dating at Bob Jones University. Once, a student couldn’t take 5 steps across this campus without running into a young gentleman on bended knee, trying to woo a young woman with a ring that cost him more than his college tuition. Now, the rate of relationship formation is at an all-time low. However, as concerned as I am about this problem, I cannot ignore the massive flaws in my opponent’s solution.

“My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!” Photo: Nick Zukowski and Andrew Pledger

First, requiring introverts such as myself to take a date to artist series is completely unfair. Instead, I propose making accommodations for my struggling kind. After COVID-19 gave us wonderful excuses to not meet people face-to-face, suddenly springing a dating requirement upon us is unthinkable.

After a long day of classes, the last thing we want is to be forced to surround ourselves with hundreds of fellow students with whom we have an appalling amount in common. If anything, introverts should be allowed to live-stream artist series events from the safety of our cold lairs on the third floor of Ironside to prevent short-circuiting our brains in a chaotic social setting. And if we must be required to go, at least give us two or three extra intermissions to take in a deep breath and steel our minds for the dreaded human interactions that await.

Additionally, would the requirement for students to take a date to artist series apply to those in long-distance relationships? If a student’s significant other does not attend Bob Jones University and is unable to come to artist series, that student would be forced to take someone else on a date. This could strain the already difficult ordeal that is a long-distance relationship. Can you imagine a poor soul trying to convince his significant other that his university made him take that “other woman” out on a date? It could give the false impression that the University approves of two-timing by compelling a student in a committed relationship to go on a date with someone else. This isn’t BYU; it’s BJU.

Finally, by making dates mandatory, you take away the main point of artist series, the cultural enrichment of Bob Jones University students. By shifting the focus of the evening to a dating event, you will lose the rapt attention which students always give each artist series. Instead, they’ll be staring at their date’s dreamy eyes and missing the chance to get cultured. Shakespeare would roll over in his grave to know a couple at our fine institution were more concerned with their first Instagram post as a couple than about the high-class production of Romeo and Juliet happening just 20 feet away. Why should two students focus on their own romance when they could enjoy people they barely know pretending to care about each other on stage? Shakespeare has never been so maligned.

Based on these irrefutable reasons, Bob Jones University must not require students to take dates to artist series. Instead, the administration should be moved to consider the plights of introverts everywhere and make the necessary adjustments to create an introvert-friendly space at this institution.