Members of the Class of 2010 worried about finding that special someone for their last hurrah before graduation need not look any further: Senior Seven has finally come.
The idea driving the Senior Seven tradition is simple.
Members of the senior class hoping to achieve that one unrealized hookup (or possibly even seven) are given a last chance to anonymously test the waters before graduating.
"It's an opportunity, a potentially final opportunity, to connect with fellow seniors that just might not have happened [otherwise]," said this year's organizer of Senior Seven, who requested to remain anonymous in order to reflect the confidentiality of the tradition.
The list of seven people is a significant aspect of the tradition, as the figure represents the number of days during Senior Week.
"Seven days, seven people," said the organizer simply.
The matching process, which will soon get underway, begins with an e-mail to the entire senior class sending them to www.seniorseven.com.
Once on the website, students will be directed to log in and create a list of seven classmates that they are potentially interested in.
"Seniors will log in and put in the names of up to seven people," said the organizer. "At the end of the first phase, if matched names come up, the students will both receive an e-mail."
The organizer of Senior Seven emphasized the importance of confidentiality throughout the process, explaining that students embraced the tradition because of the understood privacy.
"Anonymity is a real plus [because] there is no fear of rejection involved," said the organizer. "I would like to stress that it is confidential and won't be seen by anybody."
Such secrecy is assured by the design of the Senior Seven website, which will electronically handle the matching of student names and subsequent e-mails connecting the students.
With the guarantee of anonymity, past graduating classes have taken advantage of the tradition and made it a success.
"Up to 70 percent of the [Class of 2009] participated last year," said the organizer. "Definitely more than 200 people. Although I'm sure that a lot of them weren't actively looking for someone to hook up with."
Despite the high participation numbers of previous classes, one senior admitted not even knowing about Senior Seven.
"Wow, is that thing real?" asked Thompson Ogilvie '10 in an e-mail to the Orient.
However, some more informed seniors are less than impressed with the website and the idea of random hookups at the end of the year. And considering the intentions of Senior Seven, it is unsurprising that there is some degree of controversy surrounding the tradition.
"On the surface, it might seem that it is a harmless curiosity to make a list of the guys or girls you think are cute," wrote Nga Tong '10 in an e-mail to the Orient. "However, the idea of the Senior Seven, in and of itself, presents a concern for those in relationships here at Bowdoin because it condones hooking up with your secret crushes."
"If Bowdoin students are the confident, intellectual and enthusiastic people that we think we and other people think we are, then there is no real reason to have an event such as the Senior Seven to motivate students to talk to other people," added Tong.
"The whole idea of seven days and seven seniors is problematic," said the organizer. "People complain about the hook-up culture, and this probably only worsens that."
"It's a funny tradition," wrote Ogilvie. "I guess it is good for people who have had an interest in each other for a long time but are both poor communicators."