Swiping Right for the Wrong Reasons

The concept is simple — if you like the person’s picture, you swipe right. If you don’t, you swipe left. If you and another swipe right on each other’s photo, it’s a match. You can now begin a conversation with this person.

Tinder is a free mobile application for iOS and Android devices that allows the user to communicate with mutually interested users based on location. By matching people who mutually like each other, it reduces the user’s chance of rejection. The application was released on Sept. 12, 2012 by Sean Rad, Justin Mateen and Jonathan Badeen. Initially, the application was available only to the University of Southern California, but it quickly expanded to other college campuses and the general public.

Tinder uses your Facebook profile to collect your information and photos. It then tries to display candidates to you who it believes is compatible based on mutual Facebook friends, geographical location and common interests. Since its official release, Tinder is now available in 30 languages and as of April 2015, users swipe through 1.6 billion profiles and have more than 26 million matches every day.

In March 2015, Tinder released an update to the public that instilled an algorithm that limits the number of “right swipes” a user can make in a 12 hour time period. Many Tinder users were annoyed with this new algorithm limiting their number of swipes, but the implementation proved to be beneficial for the application’s users. Shortly after the update occurred, TechCrunch published a report examining the positive effects the new limitation had on Tinder users. “Ten days into launch [of the update], Tinder is seeing a 25 percent increase in the number of matches per right swipe, and a 25 percent increase in the number of messages per match. Plus, spam bots have decreased more than 50 percent since launch.”

Unfortunately, like most dating applications, Tinder has a lot of social stigma behind it.

The idea of matching up with someone solely based on looks makes people feel embarrassed to admit they use the application for anything more than just entertainment purposes. Because of this, Tinder is seen as a joke and isn’t viewed as a serious means of finding a potential partner for a new relationship. This has led to people creating parody accounts that mock Tinder, such as Tinder Nightmares on Instagram. It showcases conversations people have had through Tinder that ended up as, well, a nightmare.

In college towns, however, students view Tinder as a way people can find potential “hookups” for the night. Through an online survey distributed to college students across the United States, I found that 99.4 percent of respondents have used or know another student who has used Tinder. Out of the 155 survey respondents, 61 percent of people believe the purpose of using Tinder is to look for hookups at school. One respondent even believes that people use Tinder as “window shopping for girls or hookups.”

What do you think of tinder

However, the survey revealed that this hookup ideal is inaccurate. Out of the 155 respondents, only 20 percent reported to using Tinder for hookup purposes. This reinforces the idea that Tinder’s social stigma and negative reputation is simply incorrect.

Tinder Survey Results-2

In contrast, 12 percent of respondents answered that they have been in a relationship that started through the Tinder app. And of that 12 percent, almost half are still in that relationship.

One respondent addressed the issue behind Tinder’s stigma. “I think Tinder could be a really great way to meet people in this digital age, but most people don’t take it seriously because everyone jokes about it being for hookups.”

Another respondent doesn’t like to admit she uses the application for relationship purposes because people view her as shallow for judging men solely on appearance. “But isn’t it the same thing as approaching someone you find attractive at a bar? If it didn’t have the stereotype of being a hookup app, I think it would be a great way to meet new people and potentially start a relationship.”

Rosie Kelly, a senior advertising major at Rowan University, runs a blog called Hookup Culture. Hookup Culture exposes students at Rowan University talking about relationships and sex in college and encourages the idea that, despite our generation’s stereotype of not being able to communicate and form meaningful relationships, we are capable of these things and are actually very open about relationships. Kelly conducts interviews with students to get material for the blog and also writes feature articles that have to do with relationships, break-ups and dating for our generation.

Kelly spoke to Her Campus Rowan in regard to her blog’s purpose and said, “We all go through heart breaks and are constantly swiping through Tinder and I don’t think it’s something that has to be kept a secret. Hookup Culture and other blogs like it let people know that we’re all thinking the same thing.”

“My main message is really that we are so much more than a hookup culture. Older generations tend to believe all we do is have one night stands, we can’t communicate because of social media and texting and that we never form meaningful relationships.  I believe all of that is wrong. We are more focused on our careers and futures, so it’s true that fewer people decide to settle down in college. However, we are extremely capable of communicating and forming relationships, just in a different and more evolved way than our elders.”

Through a personal interview with Kelly, she told me she believes “Tinder is just another form of communication for our generation. We meet people by following them on Twitter, talking to them in class, friending them on Facebook, saying hi at the bar or even matching on Tinder. It has a stigma that it’s used for hookups but I don’t think that’s true. Most people use it out of boredom, to talk to someone or maybe to date.”

Tinder is a powerful tool students use versus the typical online dating websites, such as Match.com. Just because something is seen as a tool for hooking up, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be taken seriously as a way to meet new people and form meaningful relationships.

Why use tinder

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New Village Housing Aims to Solve Housing Dilemma at Rowan University

It has been almost a year since chaos broke out on Rowan University’s campus. More than 600 students were placed on an extensive waiting list to enter the lottery for on-campus housing, forcing them to look elsewhere to live, with little time available, for the upcoming academic year.

“I cannot even find the words to describe how I felt when I found out I was placed near the bottom of the waitlist for housing,” said Mark DaSilva, a junior communication studies major at Rowan University. “It was already late March and the majority of off-campus houses were already rented out for next year. Luckily, I found somewhere eventually. But where I live now is far from campus and is not my ideal living situation.”

DaSilva was not the only student aggravated by the waitlist. Hundreds of angry students drafted and signed multiple petitions in attempt to fight it.

According to a fact sheet provided on Rowan University’s website, the current enrollment is 14,778 students. Only 4,319 currently live on campus.

Rowan University recently announced its goal to double the number of students to 25,000 by 2023, which helps toward its overall plan to expand the campus and school itself. Out of those 25,000 students, the university aims to have 60 percent of students living on campus, according to Joe Cardona, vice president of university relations. When you double the number of students, however, you need somewhere for them to live. The university soon realized that if they want to double the number of students, they need to take the next step and expand the housing available to students.

The newest housing complex, currently called the Housing Village, was approved at the Board of Trustees meeting in January. It will have 1,400 beds for students to fill and will cater mainly toward upperclassmen. The Housing Village will be located where Lot X currently is, on the corner of the Rowan Boulevard apartments and Landmark Americana, and is on track to be completed by fall 2016.

“Imagine nice green, sidewalks and beautiful apartments all in that area,” said Cardona.

This new complex is part of a public-private partnership. This is the first time Rowan is housing students in privately-owned property. The way the partnership works is the contractor receives ownership and rent, but Rowan is the one who decides who gets to live there based on the lottery system.

There will not be stores located on the ground floor of the Housing Village. However, it will contain a dining hall and a medium-sized gym to help make the complex more self-sustained. Gourmet Dining will be in charge of the dining hall’s food due to its exclusive contract with the university. However, the university will subcontract with different vendors, all falling under Gourmet Dining’s umbrella.

Another aspect to look at is how the construction will affect the campus. “Just eight years ago, the core of the students were all here and revolved around the student center. This shifts everything heavily toward the downtown area and Rowan Boulevard,” said Cardona. “Doing this helps make the relationship between the community and the college stronger.” The move also opens up doors for vendors and members of the community.

Cardona explained how the Village Housing complex with be somewhat a la carte. “When you look at campus communities, there needs to be a distribution of housing — housing that’s more affordable and housing people are willing to pay extra for and get the special accommodations.” The room types will vary and the prices will be flexible. “If you want to pay extra, you can. If you want to live in a cinderblock building, you can.”

This plan is estimated to cost $120 million. Once numbers get involved, students tend to have a strong opinion of the idea.

Katie Bussman, a senior public relations major, believes building more housing complexes is a bad idea. “I understand they want to expand, but they can’t just suddenly take in a huge number of students. It’s forcing everyone’s tuition to go up and now everyone else has to suffer.”

Amanda Hauske, a senior civil engineering major, agrees. “Students chose to go to this school due to its small size and low cost of tuition. When students came in as freshman, they were under the impression they’d have access to on-campus housing for all four years. Now Rowan’s availability for housing is limited and the current students don’t see it as a fair mechanism to expand the school.”

On the opposing side, junior finance major Jeffrey Stein believes this is a step in the right direction for the university, but the approach is all wrong. “I think building more housing for upperclassmen is a waste of valuable space for Rowan. Starting junior year, students are allowed to move off-campus, expanding their housing opportunities to truly endless options, whereas sophomores and freshmen are required to live on campus. As Rowan’s student body grows, there needs to be more housing available for the upcoming freshmen and sophomore classes. What this all boils down to is that lot X should be used for freshmen and sophomore housing. This will resolve the relatively uncomfortable living conditions for these grade levels and eliminate a huge portion of the massive wait lists Rowan currently has to deal with every year.”

Now for the final question every Rowan student wants to know: where will these students be parking? The students living in the Housing Village will park in the parking garage located on Rowan Boulevard.

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