On Feb. 2, an algorithm facilitated about 2,250 possible future marriages among Duke students.
Originally created by Stanford University students in 2017, Marriage Pact has a simple premise: fill out 50 questions about your preferences and values, and get matched with someone you’re compatible with. Students recently brought the service to Duke, an initiative that was born among members of the Duke Student Government.
“The purpose of the Marriage Pact is to just find your most compatible match with the questions and the personality traits that are derived from the questions that you answer,” said first-year Chase Barclay, a DSG senator who was part of the Duke Marriage Pact team.
With questions on topics ranging from politics to religion to sex, this survey served as a way for 4,507 Duke students to search for their perfect match.
Since its start at Stanford, Marriage Pact has spread to other campuses including Yale University, Cornell University, Columbia University, the University of Virginia and now Duke.
“One of my best friends goes to Yale, and she texted me about it,” said junior Meghna Mahadevan, a DSG senator. “She matched with her best guy friend so she had a really good story.
Mahadevan texted Shrey Majmudar, DSG vice president of academic affairs. Majmudar, a junior, then messaged Liam McGregor, the founder and CEO of Marriage Pact, through LinkedIn, and they began talking in mid-October.
“I was like, we’ve got to bring this to Duke, hell or high water,” Majmudar said. “We hopped on a quick call, and Liam kind of walked me through the process.”
The next step was creating a Duke Marriage Pact team.
“At that point in time I was just like, ‘Huh, who could we put together as a pretty representative cross-functional team?’” Majmudar said. “Meghna obviously because she told me about it, and then it was just friends in DSG.”
The friends included Barclay; junior Christina Wang, DSG vice president of equity and outreach; and senior Tanisha Nalavadi, DSG director of international policy.
Junior Sophia Patterson joined the team because had a friend who is involved in the Stanford Marriage Pact.
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“I kind of went into this blindly not knowing who else was involved on campus, but I definitely think having a large DSG presence on this team helped us a lot just because there were a lot of cool publicity things we were able to do,” Patterson said.
After the initial connection was made with McGregor, the Duke team worked with Christine Manegan and Griffin Somaratne, members of the central Marriage Pact team.
“I just want to underscore how helpful the Marriage Pact team was––we could not have done it at all without them,” Majmudar said.
A breakdown of the students who filled out the Marriage Pact is below, according to numbers provided by the Marriage Pact and DSG team. In total, from the launch until the closing on Tuesday Feb. 2 at 5 p.m., 1967 straight men, 2075 straight women, 144 gay men, 65 gay women, 53 bisexual men and 260 bisexual women filled out the survey.