In Case You Missed It: Professor Kerry Cronin’s "Bring Back the Date"

Professor Kerry Cronin gave her famous “Bring Back the Date” talk this past Monday night. For those of you who missed it due to a certain sporting event, here is a recap. While I cannot provide the wit and incredible delivery unique to Professor Cronin, I will do my best to present her more important points.

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Photo courtesy of Tumblr.

Professor Cronin began her discussion of the hook-up culture here at Boston College by explaining what pushed her to start this project. Her motivation came from two conversations she had here on campus. The first, an “old Jesuit” who told her to connect the subject of her class, Perspectives, to her students’ lives. Her second conversation was with eight, second-semester seniors. Upon asking about their plans for their relationships after graduation, she discovered that none of them had ever been on a date. Shocked and amazed, she began asking her students “when was the last time you hooked up?” While the audience member she asked was, surprisingly, not forthcoming, the students she asked in more private settings were far more willing to share, and it was from these students that she began to gather her data. After discussing the relationship history of countless students, Professor Cronin began to develop a working theory about Boston College students.

According to her, each of us can mostly likely be found in one of three relationship categories:

1. The Pseudo-Married Couple: Professor Cronin immediately explained that this is the couple that nobody likes. They are the couple that is inseparable, spending every waking moment together, and if they are ever required to separate (for class, for example), their goodbye is one out of a wartime novel.

2. Hooking Up: This is pretty self-explanatory. These individuals are the ones who can be described as “playing the field” or “keeping their options open.”

3. Opting Out: These are the people who consider themselves to be too busy for a relationship, or those who claim to have not found the right person (to which Professor Cronin says “really? 9,000 students and you can’t find ONE?" … Touche, Professor).

Image Courtesy of Kerry Cronin Facebook page

Photo courtesy of Kerry Cronin / Facebook

Which category do you fall under?

Professor Cronin then continued in her discussion of those involved in the second category, something she found to be extremely interesting. First and foremost, she defined a “hook-up” as any physical or sexual contact with no perceived intention or expectation of a follow-up. She then broke that down even further by listing what she believed to be the five kinds of hook-ups:

1. The Pure Hook-Up: a make-out session in a mod, or a bar, then you both walk away, end of story.

2. The Regular Hook-Up: what started as a one-time hook-up is followed by the “where r u” text the following weekend. Ahh, romance.

3. Friends with Benefits: self-explanatory, but also a foreign and confusing idea for Professor Cronin.

4. Mistake Hook-Up: sometime after, during, or even before the hook-up when you realize you are making, or made a mistake.

5. A Hook-Up with Hope: “cue sigh from sentimental audience members”... a hook-up in which (typically) one party is hoping this will open the door for bigger, better, and more relationship-y things.

Oh, and did I mention that each of these come with the necessary involvement of alcohol? The science of being as drunk as one’s hook-up partner plays a key role in the pursuit of any of the aforementioned hook-ups. Professor Cronin described a student as having a sort of revelation, and stating that maybe it would be a good idea to talk to their hook-up while sober.

This lead to her final segment: the assignment.

All audience members were given the same assignment, and because you have read this article, you also must complete it. Your homework is to go on a date, and your instructions are as follows:

1. You must ask someone you are legitimately interested in, and you must ask them IN PERSON. Texts can be sent to arrange a time and a place, but the invitation must be extended face-to-face.

2. The date should last between 60 and 90 minutes. No more, no less.

3. It should be a day-time date.

4. You must pay for your date, but you should spend no more than $10.

5. NO ALCOHOL.

6. No physical interaction (save for an A-frame hug at the end of the date).

7. You are allowed to say that it is for an assignment.

8. You can only divulge your plan with three people.

9. When you ask the person, plan for your date no more than three days in advance.

10. *OPTIONAL* submit a 2 page reflection paper to Professor Cronin.

While this assignment is ungraded and it would be impossible to ensure its completion, it is a worthwhile endeavor. So go forth, students of Boston College, and find love, and if not love, then at least a story.

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