The Marriage Pact was a success, or at least the hype leading up to it was

The 50-question survey brought a few first dates and much needed excitement to our campus.

Mary Alice Russell

own since our last issue, but the buzz that it created before matches were sent out helped bring some much-needed life back to our campus.

“It was a fun little thought experiment, but I’m not devastated that it didn’t work out,” Lauren Hoagland, ’22, who got a 35% match said. “It definitely was a great replacement for going out every weekend and the drama of the normal school year, but I wasn’t expecting it to really do anything.”

The Marriage Pact is an online, 50-question survey created by Stanford students that undergraduate students take to find their most compatible partner on campus. Washington and Lee is one of seventeen schools to have done the Marriage Pact; some colleges have done the Marriage Pact twice. Through taking the Marriage Pact, several students on our campus went on a first date, but nothing too exciting happened.

Spencer Merrell, ’24, who even offered the Ring-tum Phi the opportunity to accompany him on his date said he would “for sure” do the Marriage Pact again and that he found it to be a positive experience.

Merrell was matched with someone that he already knew, so he felt comfortable reaching out to her. Merrell, however, like quite a few Washington and Lee students, is not looking for something special right now, but it was fun to just meet up with a friend and find out that they had more in common than the average Washington and Lee student.

At the end of it, just providing something to do was the goal of the Marriage Pact for the students who brought it to Washington and Lee’s campus.

“We hope it gives students a lighthearted and fun way to spend their time, talk with their friends, and have something to look forward to. And even after you get your match, it doesn’t have to turn into something romantic, but you could potentially make new friends or just have one more face you recognize on campus,” the Washington and Lee student who runs the Marriage Pact Instagram said.

The students who brought the Marriage Pact to our campus wish to remain anonymous because they plan on doing this for years to come because it was so successful on our campus.

The coordinators of the Marriage Pact consider it to be a success because of the sheer turnout rate of our campus. The actual matches are a different story.

Quite a few students, including Hoagland, received a match far below compatibility. Jessie Ogden, ’23, got a 5% match. Ogden, like others who received a very low match, was very disappointed and surprised.

If the Marriage Pact is supposed to be so accurate, how can someone receive a match that is so low? An email revealing the results of the Marriage Pact said, “Well, this is embarrassing. We’ll be the first to admit this match isn’t perfect (fat from perfect, to be more specific). Unfortunately, not all matches can be bangers.”

A brother and sister were matched together by the algorithm.

“If a brother and sister can be matched together, that is not a good sign to me,” Elizabeth Herman ‘22 said,

Herman said that she does not plan on taking the Marriage Pact again next year.

Seeing the outcome of the Marriage Pact was discouraging to some, but for Georgie Gaines, ‘22, who decided to not participate this year out of fear of getting matched with someone she didn’t know is excited by the idea of this happening again next year.

“I would maybe do it next year,” Gaines said. “I think now, at least I know what to expect. I’ve seen other people go through it.”

According to one of the coordinators, Washington and Lee is one of the smallest colleges to do the Marriage Pact. The University also boasts one of the highest participation percentages at a whopping 70%.

At Dartmouth College only 23% of the campus participated, while at Duke around 67% of students decided to take a chance on finding their soulmate.

Similarly to Washington and Lee, Dartmouth had trouble getting straight men to sign up for the Marriage Pact.

At Washington and Lee, the Saturday before the matches were released, Marriage Pact sent out an email saying “This year, we have 100 more women than men in our heterosexual marriage market. Because our algorithm matches 1:1, this means the last 100 heterosexual female signups are facing impending waitlisting (yikes).”

The email encouraged everyone who signed up for the marriage pact to text a straight or bisexual man to get more men to sign up.

A few more men signed up, but not enough to give every woman a match. Instead, several women on campus received a friendship match, which means that they matched with someone that had a similar score to them, but not someone they would be romantically attracted to.

Beth Ann Townsend, ’21, got a friendship match that she was really excited about.

While the Marriage Pact brought about some unexpected results on our campus, the fact that something that brought so many students together in a world where we have to be six-feet apart is a miracle. Even if they were brought together solely through the drama.