Instead of a student ID or campus activity apps like CORQ, new entry methods for college fraternity parties are rising in popularity: the latest, a Tinder profile.
The real question — will partygoers be seeing the “no app, no entry” Tinder policy making its way to Florida Tech’s campus?
The idea of Tinder partnering with college fraternities created buzz earlier this month when University of Texas fraternities signed exclusive contracts with the online dating app that has over 4.1 billion users according to data from The Business of Apps.
Reports from Vox and The Houston Chronicle cite a UT fraternity member describing the partnership as “mutually beneficial.”
The deal consists of a contracted fraternity house receiving a specific amount of money, with the potential for cash bonuses depending on the number of app downloads linked to a hosted event.
In return, the fraternity requires Tinder profiles to be shown as ID for party entry.
In addition, the online dating app provides the fraternity house with merchandise, memorabilia and other Tinder “swag” for promotional purposes.
University of Texas is not the only college where Tinder is tapping into a potential market, specifically those that fall into the 18-22 age bracket.
Fraternities from Northwestern University, Tulane University and the University of Oklahoma have also stated that they have participated in similar contracts with Tinder.
While the Tinder/fraternity partnership has yet to reach Florida Tech, there are mixed emotions among students about how the contracts would work and how well it would be received among partygoers.
“I love the idea of chapters making money and being more accountable at the same time,” said Adam Bettencourt, treasurer of Florida Tech’s Chi Phi chapter. “However, there are obviously concerns about the fallacies of meeting up with a stranger that is often associated with Tinder.”
He also questioned how it would look to download Tinder when an individual may be in a committed relationship.
As a senior majoring in mechanical engineering, Bettencourt said he views the situation as a way to hold accountability for those attending parties at Chi Phi.
Currently, the chapter is using CORQ to keep track of their guest lists, which they submit to Cat Nanney, Greek Life advisor at Florida Tech.
So far, CORQ has made Chi Phi’s job easier when it comes to keeping track of who is at a party, Bettencourt said.
CORQ does not provide any incentive or financial benefit for checking people in, whereas the Tinder partnership allocates an unspecified amount of money through these newly introduced exclusive contracts.
“If per se we did move forward with a contract via Tinder, the one thing I would do with the extra inflow of cash would be to decrease dues for membership,” Bettencourt said.
The other dilemma the business deal raises is if the Interfraternity Council chapter at Florida Tech would even allow this type of partnership.
According to senior, Mitchell Spalding — the vice president of recruitment and expansion for Florida Tech’s IFC chapter as well as the total member educator and philanthropy chair of Chi Phi — stated that the IFC executive board on campus has not specifically looked into any type of contracts with Tinder.
Spalding stated that fraternities could participate in something like this, but in his eyes, it is highly unlikely.
“I feel if we partnered with Tinder, it is tough to create a welcoming atmosphere at Greek Life events,” said Spalding. “CORQ is neutral and we have loved using it so far. It is not just used for fraternity events. It’s for sporting events and other organizations as well and it just makes everything more streamlined and navigable.”
Pat Spangler is the high epsilon for Lambda Chi Alpha, meaning that his responsibilities include party planning and security for events.
“I could see the contract being useful because a lot of students on campus probably already have Tinder, so showing it wouldn’t be that big of a deal,” Spangler said. “But then you still have maybe freshman, or those in a relationship or other outliers who do not have it, and targeting those people to force them to download an app isn’t right.”
Financially, the Lambda Chi Alpha high epsilon said he could see it being beneficial to supplement party expenditures, but overall doesn’t see his own fraternity participating in any type of future business ventures with Tinder.
In terms of the student body’s opinions on the trending party entry debate, some said they weren’t too bothered by it, while others deemed it as a “dumb rule.”
“I probably would show my profile just because I already have one so I don’t mind, but for those that don’t have it I would say it’s pretty unfair and an inappropriate form of targeting customers,” said junior Sigurd Ozols, a construction management major.
One graduate student in applied behavior analysis, Natalia Arasa Bonavila, took a similar stance.
“I don’t currently have Tinder, but if I had to download it to get into a party, I would,” Arasa Bonavila said.
The Spanish native also pointed out that she could easily just delete the app after she got into the party, hence the loophole within the system.
Some students seem unbothered by the possibility of Tinder app entry for their weekend festivities.
However, it is unlikely there will be any signage of contracts due to regulations that could later be enforced by the Florida Tech’s IFC executive board as well as a sense of hesitation from some fraternities on campus.