October 2005 (v8 i2)
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Freshmen settle into dorm rooms, relationships
Proximity trumps genuine affection in on-campus dating
by Sara Kanewske, Staff Writer

Are you a robot?
CAMPUS — Upon reaching the cash register at the Jester City Limits cafeteria, freshman Tim Schuler waved away hallmate Julie Sweeny's ID, instructing the cashier to instead swipe his card through twice.

"Don't worry, I've got it," he assured his girlfriend of three weeks.

Schuler and Sweeny met as they were moving into their neighboring Jester West dorm rooms.

"At first, I barely even noticed Tim," said Sweeny. "But after, like, the fifth time we had to squish into the elevator with all our stuff, I thought, 'Well, his curly brown eyelashes really make up for the fact that he's a lot gawkier than I'd usually find attractive.'"

Sweeny continued, "Both of our parents were there, so I couldn't be too obvious. But I made a mental note to write 'Come on in — we love to meet new people!' on my door."

What began as shyly making eye contact on the way to the community bathroom and making forced smart-aleck remarks during wing meeting icebreakers soon turned into a romantic relationship.

For Schuler, dorm dating has helped reduce the effort and upkeep that a new relationship would usually require.

"It's not like in high school where you have to get up the nerve to ask the girl out, figure out something to do or even pay with real money," Schuler explained. "With this relationship, I just bang on Jenny's door when I'm going down to the cafeteria, make sure my parents have added enough Bevo Bucks and we're good to go."

Although cynics might see Sweeny and Schuler's relationship as "settling" for one another, Schuler is quick to dispute this claim.

Elevator Etiquette

Floors 1-4: Don't take the elevator — unless you're an athlete. More filet mignon, sir?
That sweet zero-gravity feeling is totally worth making your whole floor hate you for breaking the elevator and trapping them for 8 hours.
Guaranteed popularity trick: Spill a plate of French fries and country gravy on the floor.
If you're radiating post-workout B.O., please take the stairs. Unless you're an athlete, in which case it smells like victory and hyacinths.
The buttons won't work unless you rapidly press them 30 times.
Girls will like you if you let them off first. That is, if they actually noticed you at all.
If you ride with a stranger, it'll be less awkward to pretend you're blind than to have small talk.
A box without windows or outside air circulation is the perfect place to let out a rip-roaring fart.
Follow the guy with the clinking duffel bag. He can't wait to share the empty space in his room (and soul).
"It's not like I just started dating the first girl I met at UT," said Schuler. "I actually had a thing for this girl I met during orientation. But she lives in Kinsolving now, which is a million miles away on the other side of campus. We still see each other at our FIG, but our living situation is just too much of an obstacle for a serious relationship."

Despite the couple's optimism, Sweeny's roommate Lesley Brooks has noticed some possible difficulties.

"Neither of them has a car, so they don't ever actually go anywhere on dates," said Brooks. "And every time we hear a girl's voice coming from next door, Julie freaks out and spends half an hour asking me whether it would be too obvious for her to stop by."

Brooks continued, "It's going to be really, really awkward when they break up."
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