Denfeld


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From the Duluth Herald, January 6, 1967Computer Dance
Headline

Steve Gerber
By Steve Gerber
Would you be willing to subordinate your own judgment in selecting a date to that of an impartial electronic computer? More than 400 Denfeld High school students are willing to take that chance, as indicated by the huge number of IBM cards being processed in preparation for the Hi-Y-sponsored "Computer Dance," Jan. 20.

Each of the participating students, identified by a four-digit number, has completed an inventory of personality characteristics and preferences. The data will be fed into a computer, which tests every possible boy-girl combination. At the dance, each person will be given a list of numbers identifying his ' or her "ideal" dates. The personality questionnaires were received this week. Most Important of the 50 Items was, of course, the very first: “I am a (1) boy, (2) girl.”

¬†Each applicant went on to specify his and his ideal date's grade level, hair new color, scholastic average, sense of humor, favorite sports, etc. An interesting and perhaps embarrassing situation will arise when couples who are going steady discover who their "perfect matches" really are--until then they can only hope to receive each other’s numbers. Students who are not going steady face no such predicament, however; the fact that the computer service guarantees at least two matches should remove all apprehensions. Whether the reasons for seeking a computer-selected date are curiosity, skepticism, fun, or genuine loneliness everyone concerned is eagerly anticipating Denfeld’s first “Computer Dance”.

Hi-Y president Jerry Egge and dance chairman Craig Carlson recall that the idea for the affair arose from an advertisement mailed to the student council by a commercial firm that specializes in electronic “matchmaking.” The 40-odd members of HI-Y (which programs activities for high school boys at the YMCA) agreed that it would be a change of pace from the usual post-game gym dance (the game in this case being with Cloquet). The venture was approved by the organization's advisers, Marvin Johnson and Rodger Juten, and presented to an enthusiastic student body.

This dance is not the only activity sponsored by Hi-Y; in addition, its members give camp Miller its spring cleaning, hold all-day, all-night shindigs at the Y. They also plan to participate in the festivities marking the opening of the YMCA’s now building next month. The organization lends monetary support to the school’s yearbook, the organ-repair fund, the Y and pays the expenses of its delegates to the Youth in Government program in St. Paul. Other officers include Tom Pirkola,vice president, Les Williams secretary and Brian Halliday, treasurer.