Bringing Safe Sex Back

Well over 100 people filed in around 7:30 p.m. to partici-pate, work or simply watch UVM’s replication of “Singled Out,” the MTV dating show from the early ’90s. The event, held at Ira Al-len Chapel on Tuesday, Feb 13, was sponsored by Greek Life and Free to Be; The LGBTQA. Organizer Elise Gam-bardella stated that the goal was to “host an entertaining and fun rendition of the 1990s show on MTV, keeping it as inclusive and welcoming as possible. The event was also to raise awareness during Sexual Responsibilities Awareness Week, with a focus on the ‘Tell Someone’s [campaign] against HPV.” Attendees were charged $2 admission, as well as the op-portunity to buy merchandise from Relay for Life, a UVM fundraiser for the American Cancer Society happening Apr. 14 and 15 in Burlington. Gambardella also serves as philanthropy chair for the Panhellenic Council, the gov-erning group for sororities at UVM. “All of the proceeds for the event went to Relay for Life at UVM… I am proud to announce that we raised around $550,” she said. The “Singled Out” dating game consisted of an eligible bachelor or bachelorette who was blindfolded while they answered questions such as, “Do you kiss on the first date?” or, “McDonald’s or Burger King?” Contestants in the would-be date group were weeded out depending on their predeter-mined answers according to the bachelor/ette’s response. Participants with answers un-like the blindfolded person’s were removed from the game until finally one girl or boy was left, singled out as the bache-lor/ette’s date. Cute, huh? This went on for several hours amidst cheers and heck-ling from the audience, most of whom already knew each other, as both the audience and partecipants seemed about ninety nine percent Greek life members. “I’m here because my fraternity told me to be,” Scott May, a junior admitted. “Yeah, basically everyone here is part of Greek life.” Yet if Gambardella and other organizers of UVM’s Sex Week hoped only to “make stu-dents aware of facts” by hand-ing out flyers with useful HPV information or buttons clari-fying that Chlamydia is not a flower, they would not have gone so far as to create a spec-tacle like “Singled Out”. Some participants, such as sophomores Michelle Lalib-erte and Amanda Herbert, at-tended specifically to support the fundraising cause. “We wanted to get money for Relay for Life. It’s a really fun thing to do. And we hope to meet the love of our lives,” they af-firmed through eruptions of suppressed laughter. Perhaps participant Josh Miner, a junior, best exempli-fied the other aim of Tuesday’s event: to have a good time. “I heard about [the event] through Facebook. I wanted to participate because I’m single and I’d like to find someone. It’s a fun thing to do. But Re-lay for Life didn’t influence my decision to participate.” But involvement in Greek life did appear to be a key in-fluence for a lot of attendees. Many in the audience came to cheer on their fellow Greek life members. “It’s a Greek life event. I’m here to support my sisters and participate with other Greeks,” said Ni-cole Santulli, a freshman. Sophomore Emma Panciu explained her presence, say-ing, “This is a great opportuni-ty for Greek life to get togeth-er and support a great cause. It should be an entertaining evening.” “UVM does a great job host-ing a variety of events to edu-cate students on sex and rela-tionships,” said Gambardella, who also acknowledged that “most of the people working the event are members of the Panhellenic and Interfrater-nity Councils here at UVM.” While Singled Out was imbued with the cultist at-mosphere of any Greek life event, the event did offer plen-ty of other reasons for going. Whether you were there to learn about STDs, meet a po-tential husband, cheer on fel-low brothers, or laugh at the Greek life organization, the dating game certainly made for an entertaining evening across the board.