Match18, a new community-building initiative led by the Junior Class Cabinet, has begun to “match” members of the Class of 2018 with fellow participants to form new social connections.
During the first matching period, which lasted from Jan. 25 to Feb. 1, participants had the option to either sign up as individuals or form a group of two to four friends to be paired with another group. Sign-ups currently require an individual’s dorm and a short bio, and matches are made randomly, with no gender preferences collected.
“The whole point is really to be able to connect you with anyone,” said Kojo Worai Osei ’18, a junior class president and Match18’s developer.
Over 300 students signed up for the program during the first matching period, a number that exceeds attendance of most junior class events this year.
The junior class presidents said the difficulty of branching out socially in junior year motivated Match18’s launch.
“One of the different situations of junior year is that you have a lot of friends who are abroad and people coming and going,” said Kelsey Page ’18, a junior class president. “People are more siloed, and they’re more involved in their majors and clubs, so you might feel like it’s hard to meet someone who’s not already in your circle.”
After receiving a match, pairs or groups make their own decisions about meeting and communicating. The program’s organizers are experimenting with providing a select number of matches with gift cards to locations around campus to incentivize meetings.
“Optimally, I would like to say lasting friendships are the goal, even maybe reconnecting with someone that you haven’t talked to in a while or who you kind of know and want to get to know better,” Page said. “It’s up to the people to decide if they continue to hang out after, but we hope to introduce people that maybe could be really good friends, or have not met each other yet but would get along really well.”
The initiative has drawn comparisons to Match15, a program for seniors in which participants list potential romantic interests and are set up with other seniors who have listed them. However, Match18 is oriented towards friendship and increased connection within the junior class.
“Match18 complements our other [Junior Cabinet] activities,” Osei said. “So, if you meet someone through Match18 and then continue to meet up through these activities, hopefully the bond that you create gets stronger.”
The Junior Class Cabinet plans to hold additional matching periods that will begin this quarter.
Contact Emily Jusuf at ejusuf ‘at’ stanford.edu.