After expanding to over 70 schools, Marriage Pact has launched at Brandeis, causing a stir on campus. A total of 1,255 Brandeis students filled out the questionnaire, which is more than a third of the undergraduate population. 

Marriage Pact is an organization that was started at Stanford University in 2017 by two undergraduate students, Liam McGregor and Sophia Sterling-Angus. They created a 50-question form asking about interests, values, and relationship preferences, and then they created a matching algorithm that the results are fed into. This leads to a “perfect” match for each student who filled out the questionnaire. Within four days of the release of the original project, 3,400 Stanford students had enrolled, and over the course of the next 13 months, Marriage Pact went on to expand to 65 schools across the country, according to the Marriage Pact website

Now Brandeis has jumped on board and adopted the annual match-making tradition of Marriage Pact. Eyal Cohen ’24 is partially responsible for Marriage Pact reaching Brandeis’ campus. This past semester, Cohen teamed up with Sammy Malley ’24 and Young Wang ’24 to start a new club called BETA, the Brandeis Entrepreneurship and Tech Association. Cohen transferred from Kenyon College this past fall, where Marriage Pact had already been launched. Cohen, Malley, and Wang were attempting to come up with a unique marketing effort for BETA that would involve as much of the school as possible. In a March 8 interview with the Justice, Cohen stated that “BETA is all about finding creative solutions to problems that arise. After transferring to Brandeis from Kenyon, I noticed there was a lack of cohesion among students here. We wanted to be able to connect people to one another, across campus, as much as possible.” 

One day, Cohen encountered Kenyon’s Marriage Pact’s Instagram and was amazed when he read that out of the 1,600 students at Kenyon, over 1,000 students filled out the questionnaire. “I was absolutely shocked,” he said. “Never had I seen any college event that had such immense participation among the student body.” He realized this would be the perfect solution to the two issues BETA was working on: getting their name out to the student body and stimulating cohesion among the Brandeis community. 

The team at BETA worked together to bring Marriage Pact to campus, and after spreading the message through Instagram and word of mouth, about 1,255 students have signed up to be matched with a peer, totaling nearly 36% of the approximately 4,000 undergraduate students at Brandeis. 

The release of matches was delayed due to the outage that also took out Spotify and Discord on March 8, but matches were eventually released last Wednesday evening. When a participant is matched with someone, they receive an email with their match’s name, one or two reasons why they were matched with one another, and a percent compatibility score between the two. The rest is up to the students –– they can ignore the email, reach out to one another, or even become one of the 3-4% of respondents who go on to date for a year or longer, per a figure taken from the Marriage Pact website

A common pattern that has been arising across different campuses is an imbalance between respondents who are self-identifying heterosexual females and males. By the deadline to fill out the form, there was a surplus of 155 females who defined themselves as heterosexuals, who will not be matched with a heterosexual member of the opposite gender and instead will be matched with one of the 155 people in that same pool, according to Cohen. 

Cohen said that he felt “really proud of how the whole school came together, reaching all parts of campus.” 

While Cohen was the only one interviewed for this article, he emphasized the hard work Malley, Wang, and the entire BETA group put in to create this project at Brandeis, expressing his gratitude to the whole team.