Even though Valentine’s Day has passed, love is still in the air. It’s not uncommon for people to find the one they’re going to marry at college, especially at Fairfield University. Many students are familiar with the term “StagMates,” which means Fairfield soulmates, due to the statistic that predicts Stags’ eventual marriage. According to Director of Alumni Engagement Jessica Colligan ’03, just over 10 percent of Fairfield alumni marry a fellow Stag. With 4,300 StagMates, Fairfield students are hopeful to find their significant other at college.
Three individual Fairfield couples were able to walk us through the stages of a relationship: dating, engagement and marriage.
Junior Lindsay DeMunno met her boyfriend, Drew Blake ‘18, at orientation in their First Year Experience group.
“We were playing one of those ice breaker games where you stand across from one another and then run to the middle to touch a body part. We had to touch noses and he told me I had a nice forehead, and the rest is history,” said DeMunno.
Similar to DeMunno, Ryan Neubauer ’07, met his wife Sarah Nelson ’07, at first-year orientation in the summer of 2003.
“She had just gotten into a water balloon fight with my cousin, Kevin Neubauer ‘05, who also happened to be her orientation leader. He saw me sitting on the steps on Jazzman’s Cafe [Einstein Bros.], jamming out to Tim Warren ‘04 from the Alternate Routes, who was playing a live show at the time and he introduced me to Sarah,” said Neubauer.
Many people aren’t as fortunate to meet their person in FYE. Some even feel as if it’s difficult to meet someone in general at school. Sophomore Hannah Goldstein discussed being single at college while living through “the hookup culture.”
“Unless someone is serious about you, I could see why it’s hard to keep a relationship in college. I feel as if more people want to hook up rather than date. I definitely feel like there’s less pressure to find a StagMate now because of the hookup culture,” said Goldstein.
Coordinator of Marketing and Public Relations Samantha Buck ’15 met her fiancé, David Vigliotta ‘15, despite the hookup culture. They met through a mutual friend in their dorm, Loyola Hall. Buck believes that Fairfield University itself offered something unique to their relationship.
“Finding a relationship based on faith at a Jesuit institution is something I’m grateful for. To find someone who shared those common beliefs was definitely great,” said Buck. “There are a lot of different pressures in college, but at the end of the day, finding someone that makes you smile makes everything a lot easier.”
Buck, DeMunno and Neubauer agreed that having a significant other, especially in the same friend group, adds to the college experience.
“It definitely is fun going to school with him because we have the same friend group and I get to see him everyday and I wouldn’t have it any other way,” said DeMunno.
Neubauer added that having a shared connection to both friends and the University allowed their relationship to move forward.
Although only three couples were interviewed, they left us with sentiments that let us believe it’s not impossible to find love in college.
“I think if you’re both in the same mindset and have common interests and respect one another, then it’s absolutely likely [to find your StagMate at Fairfield],” said Buck.
DeMunno echoed Buck’s point by emphasizing what’s meant to be will be.
“I do believe it is possible you can find your person at college. I didn’t go into college thinking I was going to find a boyfriend or meet my person, but it happened. I believe everything happens for a reason, and if you do find that someone, then it is meant to be,” added DeMunno.