About 12 years ago, Boston College philosophy professor Kerry Cronin added an unorthodox task to her syllabus: Ask someone out on a date, where there will be no alcohol or physical contact.
Sounds far easier than a research paper, right? A lot more fun, too.
But when Cronin first gave this assignment, she says her students talked a lot about asking someone out but didn’t follow through. (Later, she tweaked the assignment to give a two-week deadline.) “I realized at that point that the social script of dating was really long gone,” Cronin said over the phone recently. Because hookup culture has become so dominant on college campuses, Cronin says, going on a date has become “a weirdly countercultural thing to do.”