By Stephen Gruber-Miller
Grinnellians across campus have been receiving emails all week with the subject line “CONGRATZ YOU’VE BEEN CHAINED <3 <3” in preparation for the Chains of Love Harris party on Saturday.
Anyone can send an email to the Chains Mistresses requesting that two people be chained together for the night. Neither party knows who their chain will be and if both parties accept their chains, they will receive an email on Saturday instructing them when and where to meet.
The people in charge of organizing Chains this year—or the Chains Mistresses, as they like to be called—are Kamila Berkalieva, Sara Galenbeck and Sarah Swearer, all ’13.
Every Grinnellian chained has their name placed into a spreadsheet. So far, they have around a thousand people—well over half of the students at Grinnell—and the requests came fast.
“Within the first twenty-four hours, we had close to two hundred emails in the account,” Swearer said.
Chains are considered on a first-come, first-served basis, so sending in more emails with a certain person’s name does not increase their likelihood of being chained.
However, if one party rejects the chain, there is a chance that someone’s second chain will be successful.
There is no limit to the amount of couples that one person can chain. One person sent in 76 separate chains.
“He spent two hours sending us emails,” Berkalieva said.
The three admitted that chaining people and responding to emails took up more of their time than they had expected. Their free time was spent with a spreadsheet and sending out emails.
Since they work when they can, there is no logic behind when they send out emails. “
There’s no method to that madness,” Swearer said.
The Chains Mistresses got their job by requesting it from SGA All Campus Events Coordinator Chloe Griffin ’14. They took it with the expectation that they would learn all their friends’ secrets, but noted that most of the chains came from first and second years who they didn’t know.
“It’s still fun, though,” they agreed.
Some people send in stories with the names of people they have chained saying they would be cute together or that one of them has a crush on the other.
Others send in joke chains. One person tried to chain Jack Taylor to a basketball. Another tried to chain President Raynard Kington to a student.
Last year, Collin Kramer ’15 and Danielle Phillips ’15 chained around twenty people on the swim team together.
“Most of them we just thought would be really funny or silly to see those two people together for the whole night,” Kramer said. They tried to keep it a secret, but word got out somehow.
Kramer said he may or may not have done something similar this year. However, he has been chained this year and is very curious about it. “
I’m hoping it’s not someone trying to get revenge,” he laughed.
The Chains Mistresses themselves got a few chain requests, but had to deny them in order to supervise the party on Saturday, where they will be chaining couples together.
“Usually, people come in waves,” Berkalieva said, “We’ll send out emails on Saturday.”
She explained that people receive different instructions for when to meet their chain in order to avoid a rush of people at Harris.
Of course, students are welcome to come to Harris even if they don’t have a chain. The party begins at 10 p.m. with Vernon Jackson ’15 and Joy Sales ’13 as the DJs. According to urban legend, 66% of Grinnellians marry Grinnellians; according to the S&B, 17% of those couples met at Chains.