By Tess Dankoski, Staff writer
Students are locking down their soulmates and future spouses as Xavier Marriage Pact makes its way through campus.
According to the program’s website, the pact is “an informal agreement between two people — if both parties remain unmarried and without prospects after a certain period of time — to simply marry each other.”
For some students, the Xavier Marriage Pact (XMP) is a backup plan if it doesn’t work out with that special someone.
This project began at Stanford in 2017 as an assignment for an economics and marketing class. The original creators — Liam McGregor and Sophia Sterling-Angus — created an algorithm that would match students up based on preference and compatibility. Now, at Stanford, over 73% of students use the program.
As of February 2021, some form of the Marriage Pact has spread to 30 colleges across the U.S., with over 90,000 participants and 45,000 matches.
Similar to the original Marriage Pact, XMP is run entirely by students. According to the document outlining the principles and practices, four anonymous Xavier students brought the Marriage Pact to campus in March 2021 with the hopes of it being “a fun way to create the kind of connection we’re all missing right now.”
The algorithm is designed to match each participant up with someone who will not only align with the demographic they are seeking, but also align with their “core values — what you care about deep down.”
Via XMP, students are asked four types of questions.
The survey asks for contact information, which is simply one’s name and email. It also asks demographic information, such as one’s school year, sexual orientation, political affiliation and religious beliefs. It then moves onto 50 questions that reflect one’s personal values, like comfort with drugs, personal beliefs about honesty and sense of humor.
All of these questions are designed to get a full account of one’s lifestyle regarding principles and preferences.
The creators have included a link under some of their more controversial questions, labeled, “See more: Why we ask this question.” This category of agree/disagree questions includes statements like “I’m comfortable with my child being gay” and “Abortion should always be legal.”
Lastly, the questionnaire asks which of the core-value beliefs about which students were asked about are the most important to them.
This may be political affiliation, substance use or even how they want to raise their kids. These meta questions allow the algorithm to “customize your match.”
At the end of the questionnaire, it gives the student taking the survey the option to send the link anonymously to anyone of their choosing. After submitting the questions, it encourages them to send it to their crush, saying, “We’ll let them know — anonymously — that they’ve got a secret admirer, and we’ll send them the link so you two have a chance at matching.”
XMP says that all information shared through the site is private and protected; no one on the launch team has access to any of the personal data submitted. Additionally, matches don’t get to see the specific answers to the questions that their match filled out. The launch team assesses whether the app is running smoothly by receiving summary statistics.