Date club hopes to help dateless

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    By Kimberly Jones

    Valerie Haws gets nervous on dates. It?s uncomfortable. And frankly sometimes other things are just more important to her ? like sleep.

    ?I actually fell asleep on a date,? Haws said. ?When he stopped the car I woke up and apologized.?

    Haws, a home and family living major, said she feels like dating just doesn?t come naturally to her.

    That is where the dating club can help.

    Dating club president Mark Sanderson, a senior in history, said the ultimate aim of the club is to alleviate the awkwardness of dating and help people relax.

    Sanderson said it is not uncommon for him to go on dates, but he wouldn?t consider himself a professional dater. He likes to stay ?low profile.?

    For Sanderson, the club business is still new. It all came together for him and his friend Jason Hughes last semester.

    ?We started a campaign with posters on our window to get people to come to our apartment,? Sanderson said. ?It didn?t work, but it gave people something to talk about.

    One of the posters stated ?BYU Date Club ? Come scratch your itch to get hitched.?

    Although the campaign was unsuccessful, Sanderson and Hughes said they thought the poster was catchy and made it into a T-shirt.

    Their first marketing venture was taking the T-shirts to ward prayer.

    ?People wanted those shirts,? Sanderson said. ?Twenty-five people at ward prayer signed up for one.?

    With all of their success at ward prayer, Sanderson and Hughes decided to branch out and take their date club idea to BYU to try and make it a recognized organization on campus.

    ?We were excited people could come learn to date,? Hughes said. ?We wrote an unnamed professor and he said he couldn?t approve it. We were just trying to do our duty.?

    But the underground club rolled forward by word of T-shirt.

    ?The shirt is an opportunity for conversation,? Hughes said. ?It has turned into dates too, it worked for my ex-home teacher actually.?

    A T-shirt is the only requirement for membership in the club.

    ?Being a member is more of a subconscious thing,? Hughes said. ?Just wear the shirt and make a commitment to date.?

    Hughes said even married people and professors can have a shirt and join the club.

    ?The club is timeless,? he said. ?Dating doesn?t get outdated. Unlike Star Wars, the club will run on.?

    Although the presidency said they feel like they have dating strengths of their own to share, they haven?t had much success finding the right girl yet.

    ?It?s the curse of the matchmaker,? Hughes said. ?Who matches the matchmaker? It?s the ultimate paradox.?

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