Students take next step in relationships

Story by Mykaela Cross, Assistant Editor

Graduation isn’t the only ceremony some Baker University students are looking forward to this academic year.

Upcoming graduates like Dominique Vieyra and Shelby Equels will be taking the walk down the aisle just after taking the traditional walk around campus, while some, like Ashley Henry, have already tied the knot.

On Dec. 23, Henry was married in an Olathe courthouse in the company of her parents and her husband’s parents.

“We wanted to save money and didn’t want to step on any toes by not inviting people, and I didn’t want a big, extravagant wedding,” Henry said.

Vieyra and her fiancé, senior Trent Hoover, have other intentions for their wedding in September in Hutchison, and they are even planning on inviting professors from Baker.

“We will invite members from both my sorority and his fraternity,” Vieyra said. “I have some faculty that I’m super close with like the science department, who have helped me get to where I am.”

After being together for seven years, Vieyra and Hoover decided that it was time to take the next step.

“We just grew up together. It’s kind of been an ongoing joke. My friends were like, ‘Do you have a ring yet?’ Everyone was just ready for it,” Vieyra said.

Even though he hasn’t really changed her plans for the future, Hoover was the one to convince Vieyra to attend Baker.

“I didn’t even have Baker on my radar,” Vieyra said. “But we definitely consider Baker a home and it’s brought us a lot closer.”

Shelby Equels and her fiancé senior Tyler Hatcher share a similar story.

“Pretty quickly after I met her, I knew she was different than other girls.” Hatcher said.

Both Equels and Hatcher knew that they had found someone special.

“We knew we were going to get married for a long time,” Equels said. “It was kind of meant to be.”

Equels and Hatcher decided they would like to be married on Baker’s campus toward the end of June.

“We met here, so it was special. He proposed at Baker, too,” Equels said.

Getting engaged while still attending Baker only seemed natural for Hatcher and Equels.

“We both knew it was going to happen at some point. It wouldn’t have been different had it been after college.” Hatcher said.

Although the couples’ decisions to get married haven’t affected their dedication to school or their desire to graduate, each had words of advice to share for other students who are deciding to make the big decision while in school.

“I would say go for it,” Vieyra said. “When you know, you know.”

Being completely confident in her own decision, Henry agreed.

“I know a lot of people think that getting married in college is rushing, but I feel like being married was a good choice,” Henry said.

Equels echoed that opinion.

“There’s going to be hard times, but you’ve just got to stick through it,” she said. “Once you find the one, I think you know.”

Regardless of their reasons, each couple feels as though the decision to get married has brought them closer and has even pushed them to do better in both school and life.