The Hopkins Marriage Pact has students asking questions


A buddy service recently launched on campus for mixed reviews. The Hopkins Marriage Pact claims to promote new connections between students, mostly Platonic. However, students are still looking for clarity after promotional material, and the survey itself seems to focus on sex.

In the fall of 2017, Stanford University students Liam McGregor and Sophia Sterling-Angus created The Marriage Pact as a project for an economics class. They designed a 50-question survey designed to find the most compatible matches on campus. In its first week at Stanford, more than half of the campus participated. The association took off during the pandemic and is now active in 55 schools.

The service operates on the basis that the university is the largest pool of people of similar age that most will ever be in, and that many people marry their classmates. According to the Hopkins Marriage Pact, the service has since changed to focus on more casual matches.

Rookie Greta Cortez said The News-Letter that she appreciates the pact and considers that the advertisement has succeeded in arousing interest.

“I think this is a great initiative for the campus,” she said. “It’s fun, it gets people talking and gives everyone more reason to branch out and network with others … The posts definitely stir the pot and intrigue you to complete the marriage pact.” I think the survey questions are well calculated in terms of finding a “compatible partner”.

Sophomore Fiza Ali wrote in an email to The News-Letter that she is skeptical of the validity of the pact’s results, although she recognizes that the service could help students meet new people.

“I feel pretty indifferent to him,” she wrote. “It’s a good thing that attempts are being made to help people form friendships [or] relationships around campus, although I question the accuracy of this one.

The Student Government Association (SGA) initially introduced the Hopkins Marriage Pact at their September 12 meeting, where they discussed how to clarify misconceptions about data sharing and promote the service. Although the SGA has discussed the project, it is not an initiative of the SGA.

During the meeting, Executive Secretary Elaine Regier pointed out that while the service originally started as a matchmaking service, it is now focused on friendships. Second-year class president Kobi Khong said the serve can be used for platonic or romantic matches.

Following the September 12 meeting, The News-Letter received conflicting responses from members of the SGA when asked about the disparity between the name of the service and the claim that it is now the center of friendship.

Social media posts from the Hopkins Marriage Pact suggest the service is primarily aimed at romantic or sexual relationships, with posts such as “Ride something other than the JHMI,” “You want to be hit by something other than a COVID swab. ? And “Put the ‘D’ in D-Level.” Likewise, several survey questions focused on users’ sexual preferences, with prompts such as, “How long do you wait to have sex when you start seeing someone?” And if users “generally like to take control during sex.”

Additionally, The Marriage Pact’s own documents describe the quiz as a serious romantic consideration. A document related to a survey question about which religion (s) you would prefer your partner not to follow describes the rationale for the service.

“The marriage pact, as the name suggests, aims to put you in touch with a potential life partner,” the document reads.

Ali believes the promotional material should better clarify the purpose of the service.

“I think the Marriage Pact needs to be better advertised, whether it’s the flyers going around or the Instagram page, I think there are subtle hints that the matchmaking process is actually relationship-oriented,” he said. she wrote. “Better publicity from them should help solve the problem and prevent people from getting any type of match they didn’t exactly sign up for.”

In an interview with The News-Letter, sophomore Juliana Cui echoed the need for clarity, especially regarding user expectations for matchmaking.

“I think it can be a bit confusing depending on what different people want, [because what] if two people are paired [and] are looking for different types of relationships? ” she said.

Cui believes that the ambiguity in the advertisement is due to the design.

“By encouraging both romantic and platonic relationships, Marriage Pact is able to get more participation, which leads to more ‘precise’ matches,” she said.

In an email to The News-LetterJunior Class Senator Chinat Yu described the marriage pact as a catalyst for meaningful relationships.

“This will introduce you to exactly one person on campus, based on the things that matter in relationships deep down: compatible values ​​or what really matters to you,” he wrote. “It’s all about values ​​- which is really important at the end of the day. “

He also rejected the perception that the Marriage Pact is an inherently sexually oriented platform. He felt that the questionnaire would be the worst way to find sexual partners due to the lack of visual aspects such as photos.

Yu further pointed out that the Marriage Pact is not a matchmaking service as the name suggests.

“By definition, a ‘marriage pact’ is a cheeky, stupid deal that two college students could make to get married as a back-up plan, in case neither finds someone better at 40,” he said. writing. “Students generally take this framing for fun, not literally. “

In her email, Yu spoke about hearing about the Marriage Pact from the New York Times and the NPR, as well as from friends attending other universities. He felt that the service would be useful for the Hopkins community as well.

“The past year has been difficult and isolated, so we were excited to do something that could bring the campus together,” he wrote.

According to the Instagram account, more than 1,600 undergraduates have registered. The investigation ends this week and correspondence will be published thereafter.

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