By Lizzy Spano
ACU and Hardin-Simmons University students had the opportunity to make new friends – or find true love – at the Trojan and Tri Phi Stoplight Mixer at the First Baptist Church of Abilene on Feb. 12.
The mixer was a combined effort of ACU’s Trojans and the HSU women’s club, Tri Phi, to create a Valentine’s Day event in which club and non-club members from both universities could gather to play games, socialize and possibly find a date.
Those 355 students who purchased the $2 ticket enjoyed a night of Twister games, bowling, skating and other activities that allowed participants to gather in a relaxed atmosphere outside of their exclusive clubs, said Adam Tate, Trojan president and junior biochemistry major from Abilene.
“Sometimes in Abilene you don’t really know what to do, and that was the idea – just getting an event together across the campuses and having the atmosphere of everyone’s open and welcome to come,” Tate said.
The event was also intended to change the perception that social clubs are exclusive and uninterested in mingling outside of their groups, Tate said. He said being a member of a social club has numerous benefits, but he would like to change the rivalry between clubs and often negative attitudes.
“We’re trying our best to get rid of that, include as many clubs as we can and provide the means to pull this stuff together,” he said.
Students who attended the mixer were encouraged to wear a green, red or yellow shirt – hence the “Stoplight” theme – to declare their relationship status and remove potential hesitance or mystery. Green meant single, yellow signified the person was “talking to someone,” and red meant the person was already in a relationship, Tate said.
Berkley Dugan, sophomore elementary education major from Colleyville, attended the mixer and said it was a successful event.
“I thought that it was really fun; there was a lot more people there than I thought would be there,” Dugan said. “I thought it was going to be the whole awkward middle school thing where everyone stands on one wall.”
The Trojans and Tri Phi social clubs hope to make the Stoplight Mixer an annual event, said Tri Phi president Hope Malone. Malone said the mixer was an unusual opportunity for both campuses to unite.
“I think it was really fun to combine the schools,” Malone said. “The Trojans are really nice and friendly, and everyone got along really well, and there wasn’t a clash of power or anything like that.”