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Matchomatics: How a questionnaire affects school activities

A+student+receives+an+iFlurt+from+a+member+of+ASB.+iFlurtz+attempt+to+match+students+up+with+their+%22true+love%22+%28Miriam+Gabai%2FTalon%29.
A student receives an iFlurt from a member of ASB. iFlurtz attempt to match students up with their

A student receives an iFlurt from a member of ASB. iFlurtz attempt to match students up with their "true love" (Miriam Gabai/Talon).

A student receives an iFlurt from a member of ASB. iFlurtz attempt to match students up with their "true love" (Miriam Gabai/Talon).

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Building a relationship off a five minute question sheet? It could very well be a possibility.

As part of a fundraiser for prom, Oak Park High School’s Associated Student Body provided students of all grade levels with the opportunity to take a look at who they would “match” best with out of their peers.

For the price of two dollars each, students could purchase a specialized list of up to 83 potential suitors formulated through personality-based questions that they had filled out the previous week. The process is run by the company Matchomatics, a program that has been around for over 32 years and is geared towards fundraising for schools and organizations.

There are a total of eleven different questionnaires that can be filled out. The first few questions regard personal information, while the latter questions vary in topic from version to version.

“We have order[ed] what is considered the best package, which is the Deluxe Birthday Trivia print out, confidentially sealed. There are 11 different questionnaires,” teacher Heidi Cissell wrote to the Talon. “We chose the WACKY QUESTIONNAIRE, which is the one that is considered the most fun. The other questionnaires range from very conservative to sweet. Matchomatics recommends that we use a different questionnaire every year to keep it fresh.”

The Matchomatics are ordered in bulk by ASB, each costing ninety cents to buy and two dollars to sell. This comes out with a profit of one dollar and ten cents which, according to junior and ASB Tech Commissioner Cole McCreary, covers the cost of both the i-Flirtz and next year’s senior prom. For the past  2016-17 year and for this 2017-18 school year, the profits from Matchomatics ranged from $250 to $290 in each instance.

“Each class has a fund from ASB and over the years you do fundraisers in order to pay for prom, so we subsidized the costs for people to go to prom. I think we take maybe $20 off the ticket price based off of the money that we get from fundraisers,” junior and ASB Vice President Hannah Gates said. “Depending on how much money your class has by the end of your senior year, that goes directly to prom or any activities like that.”

The i-Flirtz are processed through a computer which can match students based on their answers to a quiz. According to Cissell, each person receives a number corresponding with each answer they give, matching students based off of their answers. If two students do not match on a question, their scores are subtracted. After all responses are recorded, Matchomatics calculates a compatibility percentage for each person.

“For the survey results, they use computer-generated algorithms and match people up that way,” junior and ASB Cabinet Treasurer Danielle Gould said. “You know, not your soulmate, it’s just a way to have a good laugh and maybe make a new friend.”

Some students do not believe that the i-Flirtz can really find someone who could potentially be a romantic partner or friend.

“It just bases it off of answers that people give, but everyone gives random, fake answers, so they match you up by your results, and none of the results you put are actually who you are,” senior Ofir Feuer said.

Some students feel that though some results ended up being successful, the selection of questions asked do not provide an accurate or realistic set of answer choices.

“Some questions were fine, but I remember I was with Erica [Thompson] and we were both a little annoyed because one of the questions was like ‘What trait is a dealbreaker for you?’ and it had ‘cheating’ and ‘body hair’ as an option, but those two things aren’t even close,” sophomore Caitlin Flynn said. “We just found that a little annoying. I feel like there should be more options for answers because there were a lot of things where none of them would have been my answers.”

Although some students have their misgivings about the system of the Matchomatics, Flynn said there are still reasons for enjoying buying the results.

“I-Flurtz is kind of exciting, though I’m not sure that it’s all that it’s cracked up to be,” Flynn said. “But it’s a fun thing to do, and I think I’ll do it every year.”

To ASB, i-Flirtz are a more interactive way to collect money for next year’s prom, rather than candy grams or other holiday-esque fundraisers.

“With the i-Flirtz, people want to see who they matched up with. With Valentine’s Day grams, it’s a little more personal and some people might not want to do that,” McCreary said. “With i-Flirtz, it’s just fun to see who you match up with and have the same interests as.”

According to Cissell, Matchomatics raises money for the school and is also used as an “ice breaker” for students to find others on campus and get to know them. Some students agreed with this sentiment.

“I think i-Flirtz are a fun way for the school to raise money because of how many people will buy them, and everyone can enjoy them. Some people find them funny, and some people take it seriously,” freshman Maya Markowicz said.

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