Students looking for a significant other might want to consider the cyber approach.
Date My School is an interactive dating website that lets verified users control which students may view their profiles by filtering through schools, departments and age range. Representatives from the website said they plan to visit SIUC.
The site launched its first national tour Aug. 26 at New York University. Balazs Alexa, the website’s co-founder and CEO, said the site will host Parking Parties, where it will blast music, hand out gumballs and register students with an active school email address to the dating site.
Melanie Wallner, director of public relations for the website, said the tour will come to SIU either late fall or early spring.
The website was launched in 2010 by two Columbia University MBA students who felt it was difficult to find the right companions on campus and wanted a way to narrow down specifically what they were seeking, according to Wallen.
SIUC is currently one of Date My School’s smallest school populations with 53 registered users on the site. Wallen said she hopes the tour will help continue to spread the word.
Catherine Gould, a teaching assistant in the sociology department, said she believes students turn to Internet dating because the campus culture is typically a “hook-up” culture.
Many students are strictly looking to hook up and not form relationships with people they meet on campus and at parties.” Gould said. “With the Internet, the goal is to meet someone they can form a relationship with and specify their wants.
Gould said people should be careful when it comes to online dating because you never know a person’s whole story. Online, she said, people can be whoever they want to be.
“People can tell you whatever they think you want to hear. You never know if it’s the truth or not; they may even have a photo up that’s not actually them,” Gould said.
Richard Stewart, a junior from Chicago studying art, said he thinks online dating can be risky.
“I think online dating is OK to a certain point. It can be a very risky situation, but being on a college campus may or may not make a difference in your safety,” he said.
Xandria Branch, a senior from Chicago studying social work, said Internet dating can be dangerous because you never know who is on the other end.
The Date My School website requires all users to register with their SIU email account. Users may restrict their profiles down to universities, departments, beliefs, sex and more.
“Many students may be hesitant to approach people because they never know what reaction they will get,” Wallner said. “This is a way for students to pin-point exactly what they’re looking for and allow them the opportunity to get to know fellow college students they may not know are also looking for a relationship.”