When Bowen Zhang ’13 dressed up as Dr. Seuss’s “Thing 1” for Saturday night’s “Freshman Screw” dance, he caught a glimpse of someone wearing red on Old Campus and thought he had found his “Thing 2.” But instead of the girl he was expecting, Thing 2 turned out to be his best friend — a dude.

“I’d been set up on a gay date with my best friend,” Zhang said. “Although I later had a regular date, it was pretty hilarious, and everyone took a bunch of pictures.”

[ydn-legacy-photo-inline id=”8662″ ]

[ydn-legacy-photo-inline id=”8663″ ]

Zhang joined many other freshmen who were trying to find their dates on Old Campus on Saturday night — some climbed the Nathan Hale statue, some belted lines of Shakespeare and others dressed up as animals or fictional characters. The aptly named Freshman Screw gave suitemates from the class of 2013 the chance to set each other up on blind dates with their secret crushes, or as in the case of Zhang, to “screw” them with a less than ideal pairing. In keeping with tradition, freshmen were given odd tasks to complete to help them find their dates, making Old Campus a rather hectic scene on Saturday evening. While students interviewed said they enjoyed the event, some complained that it came to early on in the semester for them to find each other dates.

Omar Njie ’13 said he had to dress up in a red coat and sing “God Save the Queen” on Old Campus. He found his date sitting on the steps of Durfee Hall wearing a tiara, where she knighted him upon his arrival.

Karmen Cheung ’13 said she found her date easily.

“I had to walk around with a candle in my hand and ask people, ‘Baby, can you light my fire?’ ” Cheung said. “I saw someone who looked like he was lighting a branch on fire, went up to him, and he turned out to be my date.”

The dance itself had a Harry Potter theme, unanimously chosen by the Freshman Class Council, FCC Chair Brandon Levin ’13 said. To set the scene, the FCC decorated Commons with Harry Potter paraphernalia, including “Forbidden Forest” trees collected in part from leftover Christmas trees in residential colleges, he said. Ticket collectors greeted Screw attendees wearing wizard robes.

“It was really nice for our class to come together for this event,” Levin said.

Thirteen students interviewed said they enjoyed the dance and thought the Harry Potter theme was well executed. But four of those students said they thought Freshman Screw took place too soon after winter break for them to find dates for their suitemates.

Vishal Maini ’13 said having screw just two weeks after returning to school made it difficult to balance finding dates with the stresses of shopping period and adjusting to being back at school. Last year’s Screw was held on Jan. 31.

“If you’re attending nine classes and trying to keep up with the work until you figure out what your aims are this semester, working on internship [applications] that are due at the end of the month and getting back into the swing of things, Screw just comes out of nowhere,” he said.

Chris Chow ’13, however, said he thought having an early Screw made for a nice “welcome back.”

The FCC charged $7 for pre-sale tickets and $9 at the door. 588 tickets were sold before the event. Levin said they had not counted the total number of ticket sales as of Sunday night.

A representative at Yale University Health Services said she could not release the number of students treated for alcohol. Dean of Freshman Affairs Raymond Ou and Council of Masters Chair Jonathan Holloway could not be reached for comment Sunday to say whether alcohol incidents had been higher than usual in a year when administrators have expressed concern at the level of alcohol abuse on campus.