Photo by Kate Silber
On Friday, March 23, Haverford’s Innovation Platform (HIP) held its first-ever Tri-Co speed dating and mocktail party. HIP was created during the 2016-2017 academic year in order to address concerns raised by both faculty and students about the difficulty of enacting meaningful change outside the classroom, and is now being headed by Victoria Merino ‘20, Noorie Chowdhury ‘21, and Mallory Kastner ‘21.
“HIP was formed as an action-driven initiative to make Haverford’s campus more aware about how to use its academics in the real world,” said Merino. “Even within the Peace, Justice and Human Rights concentration you have so many beautiful and amazing debates among students, yet many have no idea how to implement their ideas into the real world for solution and to enact change.”
The event began with speed dating, during which attendees, hailing from Haverford and Swarthmore, and HIP co-heads had the opportunity to sit down and talk to one another in a more intimate setting than during the cocktail party. Prompted with questions, though free to discuss whatever they wanted, participants were able to get to know other tri-co students they would not have had the chance to meet without HIP’s event.
“I think the Speed Dating went very well,” Kastner said. “Even though there was a lower turnout than expected, since we had to change the date of the event because of the snow, I think I got to know people a lot better, and it made it easier to have conversations about people’s ideas and how they view change and innovation.”
The speed dating portion of the event was followed by a mocktail party, which allowed those in attendance for speed dating and newcomers to mingle. The mocktail party featured cheese and crackers, non-alcoholic cocktails, and even a jazz band—The Bi-Co Jazz Kittens. The mocktail party had a much larger crowd and provided a space for students to make new connections in a casual and relaxed atmosphere.
“I got so much out of the event, from new leads on environmental jobs to a renewed love for jazz to a new Whatsapp group chat with the new friends I made there,” Russell Nicholson ‘18 said.
Though the mocktail party was well-attended, the group also hopes to increase attendance for future HIP events in order to provide a platform for innovation to an even larger fraction of the student body by collaborating with other organizations on campus.
“HIP has received some criticism in the past, in large, due to miscommunications about what HIP is. And it’s deceiving nature to be more capitalistic than it actually is,” said Merino. “HIP was built to empower change—social change being our focus these last two years—and look for solutions for global problems. If this continues to be emphasized I think people would be more inclined to be a part of it. We are looking to collaborate more with clubs and offices like Women in STEM, Bi-Co Anti-Capitalists, the CPGC, and more to further develop the mission and vision of HIP to one that matches the mission and vision of the college and one that allows us to reinvent our social, economical, and political reality.”
After a successful round of speed dating and mocktail party, the HIP co-heads hope to continue to host events like this as well as other events in the future. As HIP continues to grow, it hopes to hold more on and off-campus conferences, meetings, and workshops for students to attend.