Online dating survey scores big

If you want to get to know people, you might ask run-of-the-mill questions about what music they like or what they like to do on the weekends. But if you really want to get to know Yalies, you might ask them if they’re as promiscuous as Bill Clinton in a room full of interns. These and other questions can be found on YaleStation’s new Blue Room Dating survey.

As of Sunday afternoon, more than 1,700 students had taken the free online survey, which was launched Feb. 12, Yale College Council President Elliott Mogul ’05 said.

“This is a project that we have discussed for a couple of years,” YaleStation creator Alex Clark ’04 said. “We’ve been trying to think of ways people can meet new people at Yale”

YCC members said they expected many students would take the survey with Valentine’s Day approaching, but Clark said he was “surprised” at how popular it became.

“What’s really surprising is how many people are taking this very seriously, writing profiles and [posting] pictures,” Clark said. “It’s been interesting to see even people who are not available check out their compatibility.”

The survey asks people to determine which answer best describes them and which answer best describes their ideal boyfriend or girlfriend. Participants can also exclude people who provide undesirable answers.

“It’s better than most surveys from high school, because you get to describe yourself and what you want in the other person,” YCC member Geraldine Gassam ’07 said.

As more students take the survey, all students’ match lists are updated to consider new participants.

After filling out the survey, the database uses a student’s answers to find his most compatible match. Beside each match is a forward and backward “compatibility score,” which gives a percentage of how well another person fulfills a student’s desired qualities. The reverse compatibility score — how well the student fulfills the potential match’s answers — appears next to the “forward” score.

Students can also enter any other student’s name to compare compatibility scores.

“I like seeing how well me and my roommates jive together,” Charlie Carriere ’07 said. “I wish my roommates liked me as much as I like them.”

The Yale Student Activities Committee’s 12 members created the 40 survey questions two weeks ago. After outlining basic topics they wanted to cover, the group e-mailed each other about possible questions and answers.

“A lot of it is just some of the quirky things from the group,” YSAC Secretary Alice Lorch ’05 said. “One of the girls was a big Ninja Turtles fan, so we tossed that in since, we’re all eighties kids.”

Plans for a campus-wide survey have been discussed for the past few years, Clark said, but it was only last week that those plans came to fruition.

“It’s a technically sophisticated system for matching,” Mogul said. “Alex really is a genius.”

YSAC members said they hope to develop new features for the survey to keep people coming back. One of the latest features allows students to browse through photos people have posted.

Mogul said he is pleased with the site’s success and hopes it will continue to bring more students.

“[The YCC and YSAC members all] pitched in and created something I think is really great,” Mogul said.

The newest and most popular feature on yalestation.org’s Web site is the dating program. Students answer a 40-question survey, and can then log on for continually updated matches with other members of the student body.
Courtesy yalestation.org
The newest and most popular feature on yalestation.org’s Web site is the dating program. Students answer a 40-question survey, and can then log on for continually updated matches with other members of the student body.

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