Section: Features

After Matches, Kenyon Marriage Pact Leaves Students with Mixed Feelings

After much anticipation, the results of the Kenyon Marriage Pact, an algorithm designed to match students with their ideal romantic partner, were released late on Wednesday, Feb. 9. Over 1,000 students –– over half of Kenyon’s student population –– took the Marriage Pact’s questionnaire in the hopes of finding the perfect match, whether that be romantic or platonic. After speaking with those who mustered the courage to reach out to their matches, there’s no doubt that individual experiences varied among students. 

Students became skeptical of the project when the results, originally promised to be released on Feb. 8, underwent a delay. Kaya Karibi-Whyte ’23, who piloted the Kenyon Marriage Pact, explained that the delayed results occurred due to an issue with the algorithm. “I think we’re so used to huge teams of people doing stuff like this, that it’s easy to forget that it was student-run and it took a lot of time and effort to complete everyone’s matches,” they said. 

Many students were extremely pleased with the results of the Marriage Pact. Given Kenyon’s small student body, some were even paired with their closest friends. Sarah Newman ’22 was paired with Jackson Wald ’22, one of the very first friends she made at Kenyon. “We hang out almost every day, so it was pretty funny that we matched. Though [the Marriage Pact] didn’t function the way it was supposed to with us, it was very sweet to match with such a good friend,” she said.

 Mia Sherin ’22, out of all possible outcomes, matched with her roommate Sara Rosenthal ’22. After an excessive number of heterosexual women participated in the Pact, the algorithm began pairing them with platonic matches, resulting in her match with Rosenthal. Though Sherin was hoping for a “saucy match with a guy,” she was almost more excited to be matched with one of her closest friends. “It validated that we are so compatible as friends,” she said. “Yes, we have always been pretty similar, but we’ve also impacted the other person so much. I’m so lucky to have her.” 

Others, unfortunately, weren’t as lucky and expressed varied opinions of their results. One student voiced their displeasure, even positing that the Marriage Pact as a whole is severely flawed. “As opposed to KenyonKupid, which provided personalized matches, Marriage Pact is clearly a data collection scheme and I feel for many reasons that a lot of students were disappointed with their matches,” they said. “I matched with someone within the same major, granted, but unfortunately because they are in Exeter I was disappointed with the results.” 

Another student overcame their initial trepidation of reaching out to their match, only to be met with rejection. “Well, I matched with someone, and she seemed very nice. All my friends knew her and they said ‘Oh my gosh, she’s so nice.’ I built up the courage to message her on Instagram and then she ghosted me,” he said. 

Though the Kenyon Marriage Pact produced diverse experiences for students, it certainly contributed to the excitement surrounding Valentine’s Day this year and will be looked back upon fondly. After the release of the results, the Kenyon Marriage Pact’s official Instagram page changed their bio to “Till next time,” hinting at the possibility of the project’s return to campus in the years to come.  

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