A two-hour virtual party designed to get students to socialize was hosted by Long Beach State’s student government on Tuesday, Sept. 28.
Hannah Peedikayil, an event coordinator and host, said the first ever “Virtual Speed Friending” event was introduced by the Associated Student Inc. as a way for students to mingle and interact after classes were moved online last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Some students come to make friends and deeper connections,” she said. “Some just come to hang out for a bit and socialize with other students.”
David Ramirez, a third-year engineer major, said he was excited to partake in the event to meet new people after spending the past year online and only seeing photos and black squares on Zoom.
“I’ve been learning virtually for a year now and these events make it easier to talk and get to know people,” said Ramirez.
During the event, attendees were split into breakout rooms every five minutes, then prompted with an icebreaker question. With four people in each break-out room, everyone had a chance to talk to one another that helped create a more relaxed discussion.
“I picked questions that would get people talking,” Peedikayil said. “It’s important to me that these events go well, and I am happy it came into fruition.”
Some of the ice breaker questions included “best quarantine purchase,” “favorite and least favorite holiday”, “craziest haircut” and “assume something about me.”
As laughs were shared throughout the night, students exchanged their contact information and social media accounts before the rooms ended so that they could continue to keep in touch.
Peedikayil says ASI, along with Beach Pride, plans on keeping events in a hybrid model, with some events staying online like speed friending and others being in-person.
“We think about what translates best for events. For example, paint n’ sip is better in-person, but speed friending works better on an online format,” Peedikayil says. “We care about student interests and preferences, so we tailor events to fit student needs.”
For more virtual events, check out asicsulb.org/corporate/enjoy for more information on upcoming events.