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What the fuck happened?

For the past few days, some students on campus have been left furious after being swindled for their personal information.

Campus Cupid – a ‘campus matchmaking service’ – used QR codes around campus to send applicants to a quiz. After they answered the quiz, it then asked applicants to fill out some of their personal information. This included their full names, Instagram accounts, mobile numbers and email addresses.

However, there was some information which students weren’t privy to at the time. Once this service closed, applicants were asked to pay $9.90 (a drop from an initial $14.90). This fee was supposedly to access their matches, and students were not made aware of this prior to making applications.

This left many students with a sour taste in their mouths, as the realisation settled in their stomachs that they had just given their personal information to complete, anonymous strangers. Then, furthermore, that these strangers tried to flip said information for a quick buck.


My views and concerns

UQ Love Letter #35242 makes a great point about the entire ordeal, explaining why they’d prefer to just stick to dating apps:

“at least I don’t need to pay to unlock the match and none of my personal details are given out.”

I think it’s really important to point out the latter half of this quote. The fact is that the biggest issue with this situation isn’t the paywall. It’s that many applicants now have absolutely no idea where – or to whom – their personal information has gone.

I do have faith that a good majority of the student population are well-adjusted individuals. However, there are still going to be a few bad eggs in our basket.

We’re living in a time where the internet has given all sorts of stalkers and bad actors an unprecedented level of access to the lives of other people. So, it’s concerning that an event like this serves the risk of giving them further access to the private information of others.

I’m fairly confident that this event won’t mark the end of the world for anybody. But the fact that that so many students on campus gave their private information to this service is a bad sign. Not only for the safety of their private information, but also for the state of their love lives.


What we should do instead!

I think there’s an important point I want to make regarding this whole situation, which is that I absolutely do not blame anybody for making an application to this service. In fact, if I had of known about it all before submissions closed, there’s a chance that I may have even made an application myself!

However, in retrospect, I think it’s important that we recognise there are far safer ways of going about finding love during our time at University.

These two ideas aren’t exactly revolutionary, but I thought I’d provide them anyway in case people were feeling a bit lost on what to do after this big let-down.


1. UQ Love Letters

If you’re struggling with dating apps (believe me, I’ve been there), then maybe even give UQ Love Letters on Facebook a go if you’re looking for someone on campus.

I personally consider a large portion of UQ Love Letters submissions to be cringe inducing nonsense. Or, in many cases, submissions are completely irrelevant to the core ‘love letters’ idea. But, it’s still cute to see the odd, genuine submission made by someone who’s clearly just giving it all a shot. Besides, it’s a whole lot safer – in my personal opinion – than this Campus Cupid idea as it stands. It’s got to work for somebody, so why shouldn’t that ‘somebody’ be you?


2. Just talk to people!

The best idea yet! Just talk to people you meet throughout your time at UQ. If you’re an on-campus student, you will undoubtedly meet plenty of people during your time here. You might even take a romantic interest in some of these people, and who knows, maybe they’ll take an interest in you too!

Developing a good, old-fashioned ‘just talk to them’ mindset can be scary. Especially for a generation which has grown up on an alternative ’24/7 IPhone and TikTok induced comatose’ mindset. But, communication is an important skill to develop if you want to find yourself in healthy relationships anyway, so you should at least give it a go.

Whatever you do, just don’t be weird about it! Don’t start talking to everyone around you with the aim of turning them into your spouse. Just talk to people you meet and develop natural relationships of all sorts with them. Whether those relationships end up being platonic or romantic in nature, just do it anyway, simple as.

I don’t think this particular advice fits in with the Black-Pill, Red-Pill, Whatever-The-Fuck-Colour-Is-Next-Pill advice that many online communities (most of which I view as grotesque) seem to give out.

But, nonetheless, I don’t think giving this approach a go will hurt at all, the worst that can happen is that you’ll make a few friends. It’s important to realise that friends are just as important as romantic partners, so don’t discredit those people you meet who you fail to find that romantic ‘spark’ with.


Conclusion

While I think there’s future room for a service similar to Campus Cupid, I think it needs to be workshopped for a while. That is, if it ever wants to be a service that people should feel comfortable using.

A good step to take might be finding a more secure way for students to be able to contact their matches. A way that doesn’t force people to blindly give so much of their personal information to complete strangers.

Another fantastic step forward would be to get rid of the fucking paywall! Or, alternatively – if this process is as costly as the Campus Cupid creators say it is – find an alternative method of monetization. Or, even find a way to create a subscription service for such a service.

Just do anything to make this service a more viable and safe option for students, if that is your genuine goal.

Either way, I hope this experience can serve as a lesson to some of you who participated, and – of course – I hope that you all find what you’re looking for.

You deserve it!

With love,
Dylan

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