Section: Features

Who’s your soulmate? The Kenyon Marriage Pact has answers

Just about two weeks ago, posters began to surface around campus promoting the Instagram account @kenyonmarriagepact. The Instagram page explains the process and concept behind the account, stating that an advanced algorithm will determine your best-suited match for a marriage pact: an agreement to marry your match if both members of the pact remain single years later.

The account is a branch of the larger entity @marriagepact, which uses an algorithm developed by Liam McGregor and Sophia Sterling-Angus, two students at Stanford University, for their economics final project. The project, which includes a 52-question survey, has made its way to over 60 colleges. The questionnaire launched at Kenyon on Jan. 31 and currently has over 1,000 submissions — more than half of Kenyon’s student population — each hoping the algorithm will match them with the most compatible person on campus for a perfect romantic backup plan. 

The questionnaire touches on over 50 topics, including questions about your intended major, political or religious affiliations and personal preferences. Additionally, it asks whether or not they believe in soulmates, think a long-term relationship should be founded in practicality or passion and whether or not they would go on a spontaneous trip. The questions grow exponentially more personal, asking participants about where they want to settle down in the future and how many children they want, as well as their thoughts on monogamy and long-distance relationships.

Kaya Karibi-Whyt ’23 decided to bring the Marriage Pact to Kenyon because she thought it would be a fun way to unite the campus. “I knew that people would be into it based on the popularity of Kenyon Krushes, so I started working on bringing it to campus over winter break and reached out to my friends Henry Haley Goldman [’23] and Jules Montoya [’22] who were happy to help support the process,” she said. Karibi-Whyt also responded to peoples’ worries about not receiving a match by stating that “anyone who doesn’t get a romantic match will get a friend match, so everyone will have someone new to get to know by the end of the process.” 

Kenyon students have had a wide range of opinions surrounding the survey and the possible outcomes it may produce. Molly Dean ’25 felt slightly uncomfortable completing the survey, as she perceived the questions as extremely personal and intimate. 

The site also allows students to send anonymous messages to encourage friends to complete the survey. One student said they filled out the form as a joke after they received an anonymous request to complete it.

Many students are skeptical of the process. Olive O’Riordan ’25 states that she doesn’t see herself meeting the person she is going to marry in a place with such a small student population. “I didn’t see a point in completing the survey, I just don’t think anything will come out of it,” she said. Many students decided to complete the survey for fun or to meet a possible new friend. Ellie Kahle ’25 saw many of her friends completing the online questionnaire and decided she may as well participate too.

The questionnaire closed on Tuesday, and the account shared the results with peoples’ respective matches Wednesday evening. The outcome of the algorithm at Kenyon has yet to be determined, but maybe there will be more “Kenyon married” couples in the near future!

 

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