Photo by: Will Gentry
Oklahoma Christian University is going one step further to encourage the long-standing “ring-by-spring” cliché by changing “Women Pay All Week” to “Marriage Week”.
It was announced during chapel on Feb. 11 that the traditional date week on campus would take on the new title of Marriage Week.
Coincidentally, SGA’s “Marriage Week” coincided with National Marriage Week, an annual event designated for Feb. 7 to the 14.
“We decided to change the name to Marriage Week because people always complain about calling it Date Week or Free Activities Week so we thought it would be funny to call it Marriage Week,” junior class Vice President and a member of SGA’s activities committee Claire Guymer said. “It was a little drastic but we thought it would be funny, so I’m okay with the change.”
Students on campus saw the name change as more entertaining than anything else.
“I think the name change was funnier because of all the ring-by-spring jokes,” freshman Cameron Jones said.
Senior Katelyn Jackson said the name change is a funny idea, even though she misses the original name.
“I think that it is funny; however, I still like to call it Date Week so when I finally ask that special someone to go with me, they know I want to go as a date and not to get married,” Jackson said. “It adds a comical laugh while making fun of the fact that most people at Oklahoma Christian become married at a younger age than the population at large.”
The week kicked off on Monday night Feb. 11 with free ice skating at Edmond’s Arctic Edge skating rink, followed by free movies at Northpark 7 Theater on Tuesday night, free ice cream at Chick-fil-A on Wednesday night and several Groupon deals on Friday.
Free ice skating at Arctic Edge has always been a Date Week tradition and proves to be a favorite among students.
“I think ice skating has always been a really fun event because it’s always just a really good time,” Guymer said.
Jackson said she is thankful that Oklahoma Christian puts on free events for the students.
“The whole time while I was participating in the free ice skating, I was just realizing how awesome that everyone at our school is welcome to go to that event for free,” Jackson said. “We don’t have to worry about any costs. I just think it’s awesome that Oklahoma Christian does that for us.”
Even though this week was originally intended for actual dates, it has grown into an excuse to take a break from schoolwork and hang out with friends at no cost.
“I think there are a few casual dates that happen out of Marriage Week, but for the most part I think people just go to hang out with their friends,” Guymer said.
Jones said he mainly saw his friends going to hang out instead of going on a date.
“Mostly people just hung out,” Jones said. “I know people took advantage of a couple of the events like free food and the ice skating.”
Those who participate in Marriage Week tend to be underclassmen.
“I think a lot more freshmen probably showed up than upperclassmen,” Guymer said. “When you get to the older grades, you are normally more focused on your schoolwork than you were when you were a freshman. That’s probably why a lot of upperclassmen aren’t as involved with Marriage Week as freshmen.”
Jones said he knows a lot of people in his class where involved with Marriage Week events.
“I know the freshmen class likes to be involved,” Jones said. “I feel like the freshmen are the most involved, and that’s usually how it is. It probably changes once they are sophomores. I guess they just get bored of it.”
SGA puts a lot of time and money into Marriage Week every year.
“We spend a lot of money,” Guymer said. “The activities budget is $10,000 for the whole semester. I think this year we spent maybe a little more than $2,000 for the whole week.”
$2,000 is actually a smaller amount of money than the cost of last year’s event.
“Last year for Date Week they spent more because they did free froyo at Peachwave,” Guymer said. “Doing Peachwave is a lot more expensive than Chick-fil-A was.”
Jackson says she is glad to use the money for a week of free events.
“We don’t make any money off of Marriage Week,” Jackson said. “It’s our activity budget going to good use.”
Guymer is confident that no matter what the week’s name is in the future, it will always be a part of Oklahoma Christian tradition.
“I think it will always be there to some extent because there is an executive office that is in charge of it and makes sure that it happens,” Guymer said. “It will be different every time because there is a new person in charge of it every year. The best thing about it is that it helps to build a better community on campus.”