The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Vanderbilt Marriage Pact: Will you have your “ring by Spring?”

Vanderbilt students bring a series of questions from Stanford University that uses an algorithm to match you with your “perfect pair” based on factors of compatibility.
Vanderbilt Marriage Pact survey website directs you to find your match. (Hustler Staff/Eva Pace)

Whether you’ve seen the cheezy Instagram story puns or received text messages from friends urging you to take the questionnaire, somehow the Vanderbilt Marriage Pact has taken campus by storm.  Almost half of the student body has already taken the survey since the account’s first Instagram post Feb. 16, proving there’s still hope for love at Vandy.

An algorithm created by Stanford students in 2017, the Marriage Pact has made its Vanderbilt debut this year in the wake of the Valentine’s blues. The premise of the Marriage Pact is simple: find the Vanderbilt student with whom you are most compatible. 

To join the pact, you fill out a 50-question survey. Prompts range from “it’s okay that my partner does harder drugs” to “gender roles exist for a reason,” and participants are able to rate how strongly they agree from a scale of one to seven. At the end of the survey, participants can choose which questions represent non-negotiables, the issues that are most important to them.  

Everyone can empathize with a first date that ended in “what was I thinking?” Brad may have looked perfect in his Hinge profile, but as soon he started talking about trickle-down economics, you knew it was a no-go. Cue the algorithm! While it doesn’t promise love at first sight, it does guarantee that you will have common ground with your match. The questions are chosen in an attempt to ease first date awkwardness as well as guarantee genuine connection. 

Question 13 of the 50 Vanderbilt Marriage Pact prompts that serve to highlight your ideal match. Screenshot from Vanderbilt Marriage Pact survey. (Hustler Staff/Eva Pace)

Other questions ask about everything from your political affiliation to how long you want to wait after meeting up to hit the bedroom, and these are critical to ensure you and your match are on the same page from day one. Prompts like “how many kids do you want?and “where do you want to settle down? account for factors you may not be thinking about now, but are important to know for the future

If you want to keep swiping on Tinder or passing notes to your crush in Bio, you do you, but your mathematically perfect match could only be an eight minute survey away. A new friendly face is particularly motivating during what has been an isolating school year from the start. 

“I’ve felt sort of lonely throughout the pandemic, being separated from friends and other people in my class that moved off campus,” sophomore Tre Brown said. “Hopefully I’ll match with someone who I’m compatible with and who’s willing to hang out, even as friends, until I propose.”

The Vanderbilt Marriage Pact team aims to pair students with an algorithmically proven match. Screenshot from @vandymarriagepact on Instagram (Hustler Staff/Eva Pace)

While backup plans and algorithms may not sound super romantic or sexy, the concept is pretty genius. College is one of the best chances you will ever have to meet *the one,* but you probably won’t find them with your nose buried in your textbook or in a fraternity basement. So whether you fall into “too busy studying” or “not quite ready to settle down” category, do yourself a favor and take the test. Your future self might just thank you. 

“I took the marriage pact because all my friends are,” junior Bettina Hervey said. “I figured why not. Sounds like fun.”

As of Feb. 21, the last 675 heterosexual females to have taken the marriage pact are facing waitlisting, as not enough heterosexual or bisexual males have participated to satisfy the 1:1 matching requirement of the algorithm. For that reason, the Instagram account has been actively encouraging these men to sign up.

The Marriage Pact will be open until Monday, Feb. 22 at 4:20 p.m., and matches will be released the day after. The more people who take the survey, the increased odds of you meeting your perfect, linear algebra-based match. Swoon! Happy matching.

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The Vanderbilt Hustler welcomes and encourages readers to engage with content and express opinions through the comment sections on our website and social media platforms. The Hustler reserves the right to remove comments that contain vulgarity, hate speech, personal attacks or that appear to be spam, commercial promotion or impersonation. The comment sections are moderated by our Editor-in-Chief, Rachael Perrotta, and our Social Media Director, Chloe Postlewaite. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected].
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