Single graduate students finally have an opportunity to meet and mingle tonight in the Wilkinson Student Center through the launch of gradCONNECT, a club dedicated to connecting singles in graduate programs across BYU campus.

GradCONNECT’s kickoff event is $3 and designed for single graduate students to meet other singles in graduate programs at BYU. Activities will start at 6:30 p.m. in the Wilk Terrace with the BYU basketball game shown on a nine-foot screen, contests, pizza and chances to win gift cards. GradCONNECT will also host other activities throughout the semester, from dinner groups to discounted activities that meet their mission of increasing communication and socializing between single graduate students.

Mary Black, a third-year law student from Provo, plans to attend the event to meet other fun, social and attractive singles working in graduate programs. She said she and her friends have been looking for something like this for a long time and are excited for the events this semester.

“I constantly have my nose in a book,” Black said in an email. “This club provides an opportunity for students to hang out with other graduate students who are driven, fun, smart singles. I just wish this had started sooner.”

Amy Fisler, president of gradCONNECT from San Diego working on her M.P.A., observed this need as she and her friends became graduate students at BYU. The Graduate Student Society hosts many events for all graduate students but makes it difficult for single graduate students to meet others that are also single.

“One big thing about this project is the vision that now when single graduate students apply to BYU they know there is an infrastructure in place for single students to participate in that goes beyond the activities held for all graduate students,” Fisler said.

Bill Baker, a professor of management communications in the BYU business school, was asked to be the club adviser for gradCONNECT and believes in its mission to help link single graduate students. He said he thought the idea for the club was a great idea as it fulfills a need for greater communication among single graduate students.

“I thought it was a really great idea for single graduate students to get together and connect because many are just connected with people in their own area and this club gives them a chance to connect with others on a broader basis,” Baker said.

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