Northwest Marriage Charter returns to campus
College is often the place where people allegedly find “the right fit.”
A staple of the Autumn Quarter is the Northwest Marriage Pact It aims to make this search easier by using a carefully curated quiz to match “ideal pairs” across campus. But, what if your soulmate is someone you already know, according to the algorithm?
This was the case for communications student Carolyn Humphrey, Which was paired with someone very familiar to her: her twin sister, communications junior Claire Humphrey.
“We saw each other’s names and immediately started dying of laughter.” Carolyn Humphrey said. “We laughed for five minutes straight.”
While NU Marriage Charter received 3,617 applications this year — nearly half of all undergraduates — the complex was short on straight and bisexual men, a recurring problem in recent years. As an alternative, heterosexual women who are not romantically linked are given a “boyfriend match” rather than a romantic match, as was the case for the Humphreys.
Caroline Humphrey said that when she posted the results on her Instagram account, others found them funny, too.
“I don’t think I’ve ever gotten more responses than ever,” she said. “I think people would have been less likely to reach out to me if I was posting that I had just gotten engaged.”
The survey, which began at Stanford, has become an annual tradition since fall quarter 2020, when NU’s first edition was released. Participants are paired using a secret algorithm that compares people based on their answers to personality-based questions.
Like Humphries, Weinberg sophomore Austin Moye was paired with someone close to him. In his case, it was a friend he had known since his freshman year of high school.
He said that he and his match would not be compatible because they disagree on a lot of topics. Moi said he believed he was a match for his friend because of their similar backgrounds, rather than other factors.
“I feel like they treat gay people differently than straight people,” he said.
This year, Moy said the questions — which were scaled back from the previous year — seemed geared toward heterosexual couples and heteronormative norms of a relationship, affecting the quality of LGBTQ+ matches.
While he wasn’t expecting anything from this year’s engagement except “little silly feelings,” Moy said his Marriage Pact match was “sad” about being paired with him.
“I just laughed, to be honest,” Moy said of seeing the result. “This is actually quite funny,” I thought.
Moy noted that the marriage charter was much shorter this year than last fall. This year candidates were asked to rate their intelligence compared to other NU students and share attitudes towards sex.
Weinberg freshman Kevin Ho He was also paired with someone in his friend group. Although he was not disappointed, he found it a bit embarrassing to be matched with someone he knew.
“I think it was surprising that it was someone I already knew,” he said. “I feel like the whole point of the marriage covenant is for you to meet someone new, and I already know that person.”
He said he had no idea why he matched with his friend. He said the coincidence did not appear in the conversation.
Like Hu, Caroline Humphrey is unsure of the answers that led to her getting someone close to her on October 24. You guessed it has to do with their similar backgrounds and values.
Even if she doesn’t get a romantic match, she said she can see why Marriage Charter chose her twin as a matching friend.
“She’s one of my best friends, so I’m not surprised,” she said. “The algorithm was in place.”
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