By Angelina Zervos
As champions of the Tinder U Swipe Off contest, Fordham students know they’re some of the sexiest singles out there. But during a pandemic, (those of us who are staying safe) may find it difficult to meet potential partners… especially when campus keeps shutting down. They’ll hardly be another time in your life when you’re surrounded by attractive people your own age who you may share interests with, but finding that special someone is hard! With the first Valentine’s Day in quarantine approaching, a group of Fordham students got together to try and solve this issue. Enter: the Fordham Marriage Pact.
You may have noticed a quirky little email in your inbox the week leading up to Valentine’s Day. Some subject lines read “Your most compatible match @ Fordham.” Others asked “Tired of Tinder?” If you were caught off guard, no worries, many of us were. These emails were sent by The Fordham Marriage Pact, who describe themselves as “an independent student initiative” and boast the use of “market design, computer science, and psychology” to match students in a way unlike your average dating app. They implored students to fill out a questionnaire so they could be paired with their best possible match, romantic or platonic, at school. You could also send a secret admirer note to your crush or act as a wingman for your friends by inviting them to get matched.
Valentine’s Day has passed and matching has been completed, but some students are still left with questions like: Where did the MP come from? Why didn’t I get matched? How did the matching work? We spoke with Zoey Liu, one of the FMP organizers, to get the inside scoop about what the Marriage Pact is all about and it’s future at Fordham!
What is the Marriage Pact and what made you (and your team) decide to bring it to Fordham?
The Marriage Pact originated as a Stanford project. By taking a questionnaire, an algorithm matches you with your most compatible person out of those who took it at the school! In early January I was going through a breakup and I saw a friend from high school post about an SCU Marriage Pact so I decided to look into it! The idea really drew me in so I reached out to the Stanford team to bring it to Fordham. I was bored, but also hoping to meet someone new after my breakup. After gathering some of my friends to create a team, we got started with the project with help from the Stanford representatives.
How did you reach out to the student body with the MP questionnaire?
While we didn’t receive responses from every single student, we ultimately had a 35% response rate which is 1 out of 3 students! The MP worked on it for two weeks – the first week consisted of meetings discussing how to customize the quiz and marketing assets to make them more Fordham-friendly. We utilized social media marketing, emails, and group chats as our main outlet. We had one of the most hyped up social media accounts out of all the schools who have done MP, so that definitely drew in a large audience!!
Do you think the Fordham Marriage Pact was successful? How do you measure success?
I would say the MP’s success can be measured in two ways. In the short term, we have been successful by creating a topic of interest that every Fordham student could participate in! I don’t know when the last time was that 35% of Fordham students did one thing !!!!! Especially during a pandemic, it’s been a great project to bring the Fordham community together. In the long term, we hope to hear about our impact on people’s relationships, romantic or platonic! Many couples were matched with each other, so hopefully that can strengthen their relationship. For those meeting new people, while we haven’t heard of any immediate marriages, to be able to make people’s relationships more colorful will truly indicate success! Couples from other schools who met from MP have actually gotten married, so maybe we’ll see that at Fordham in the next couple years?
Some participants are disappointed with their matches or are upset they didn’t get matched at all. Is there an explanation for why this happens?
While the algorithm isn’t perfect and there were some mistakes made on the technical side, most people were disappointed because they did not receive a close match. I think that just goes to show the amount of unique individuals at Fordham – literally we could not find someone who had the same answers as you and you’re just too special!
Are there future plans for the Fordham Marriage Pact? If so, will matching take place again next Valentine’s Day, or will there be more opportunities for students to participate?
While I am graduating this year, hopefully students who took the MP show a demand for another round next year, and maybe the team will come back to work on it again! It’s definitely possible if people voice that they want it! So…just let us know!!!!
Is there anything you want the student body to know about the Fordham Marriage Pact?
At the end of the day, MP is just a project created for fun and we don’t want anyone to place their personal value on it! If you get a close match, it’s completely up to you what you do after as long as you are being safe! If you don’t – who cares! As long as everyone had fun the MP team is happy 🙂
You heard it here first, paper readers! Did you miss out on matching and want a second chance at meeting your most compatible match on campus? Disappointed with your match or looking for a new friend or lover? Had a success story and want to share the wealth? The FMP could make a return, let the team know your thoughts! You can find the Fordham Marriage Pact on Instagram @fordhammarriagepact.