No Fear November sparks discussion and controversy on campus


What is the deal with No Fear November?

There is probably not a single student at Franciscan University who has not heard of No Fear November. In fact, there already have been many responses from students about it. One male student, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “I think that No Fear November is not a good idea because to say that I do not have the courage to ask girls out suggests that I am a coward.”

Another student, Molly Sheahan said, “I think No Fear November is good and it has good intentions, I just don’t want guys to start asking me out!”

Reslife has also been receiving a wide range of responses, said Kyle Murphy, the residence director in Assisi Heights. “We have had varied reactions all the way from ‘this is the best thing ever’ to ‘this is offensive and why would you do this?'” Murphy said.

But what exactly is No Fear November? The idea is to change the campus dating culture from as it stands right now to something better.

“What we see as wrong with Franciscan dating culture is a lack of clarity and a confusion of intentions,” said Murphy. According to Murphy, this is what Reslife wants to change through No Fear November.

In separate sessions for women and men during the first week of November, practical ideas were discussed on how to bring about this change. Matthew Schaefer, residence director of St. Francis Hall, delivered both sessions, which were held in Pugliese Auditorium. The sessions discussed everything from how to respond to being asked on a date to the level of physical affection appropriate for a first date.

“It is incredibly frightening for a man to ask a girl out,” Schaefer said, which explains why girls are encouraged to say yes. Schaefer said this is what will change the dating culture. Schaefer told Franciscan ladies, “It starts with saying yes to those dates.” He added, “You do not have to. You can say no, but I would ask that you thank them.”

Franciscan University Reslife is following a model made by Kerry Cronin, a professor at Boston College. In this model the first few dates are considered level one.

Schaefer said, “These dates are just the initial getting to know you. Depending on how well you know the person there could be two to five of these initial dates.”

However, level one dating is not exclusive. It is more a general time for getting to know the person. In keeping with this, Schaefer explained, “If you are not interested after one or two dates do not say yes anymore. In other words, give him a shot but not too much of a shot.”

Later on, dating can progress to level two, which is exclusive and often includes longer dates. Finally, there is level three dating.

“At that level people are usually talking about engagement and marriage,” Schaefer said.

Schaefer pointed out that such levels of dating are appropriate in accordance with the purpose of dating. “Dating is an intentional pursuit of your vocation,” he said. “You must pursue your vocation.”

In addition, dating can help both guys and girls. Schaefer said, “Having those relationships allows us to have better self-knowledge. Girls bring out things in guys that guys do not bring out in each other.”

Schaefer gave some practical tips for first dates, such as “a first date should not be longer than 90 minutes” and “physical contact on a first date should be very limited; a hug is ok if you are comfortable with that.” Schaefer also explained how to end a date, “Simply say, I enjoyed this but I think it is time we head back.”

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