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Student creates new app for RPC crush party

By Jennifer Shen     2/11/14 6:00pm

Rice Program Council switched this year's Crush Party survey from using a company to a student-built application in response to students' complaints that last year's survey did not allow for students to be matched with both genders, according to RPC President Aisha Jeeva.

Those who hope to find their potential soulmates through the Rice Program Council's Crush Party matches may have noticed that the program for the survey was created by a student this year, instead of by a company in previous years.

"This was due to a limitation of the company that created the survey," Jeeva, a Martel College junior, said. "Unfortunately, the company we had always used to create the survey was unable to [make the change] due to the nature of their program."

Due to RPC's continual efforts to be more receptive to student feedback, the committee started looking for alternatives, according to Jeeva.

RPC finally ended up outsourcing the program to Duncan College sophomore Matthew Schurr because of the other successful apps he created, including the website used for Screw Your Roommate, another popular RPC event.

Schurr said RPC contacted him about making an app for the Crush Party.

"I saw an opportunity to help improve a campus wide event, and I decided to go for it," Schurr said.

Schurr said he created the app in less than a day's work. Although he wrote the code for the application, RPC came up with the questions used to match students, according to Schurr.

To calculate matches among students, a score is calculated between every pair of participants that has matching gender preferences, said Schurr. For most questions, a constant is added to the total score if both participants chose the same answer, and none is added otherwise. 

However, some questions whose answers can be converted to a scale, such as the one regarding purity score, are scored based on how close the pair's answers are to each other on the scale.

Schurr said he plans to publish some aggregate statistics to see patterns in people's responses.

"I think it will be interesting to see which questions had a fairly even answer distribution and which questions had most of the students choosing between one or two choices," Schurr said.

Brown College senior Rachel Wong said she liked having the option to be matched with either or both sexes.

 "I'm glad that they were considerate of the LGBTQ community at Rice," Wong said. "I think that the survey was more comprehensive than in past years, but the music options were kind of limited."

Lovett College senior Sunny Kim said she liked the new survey but saw room for improvement.

"It's definitely more convenient ... because they can email you the result, so people don't have to go all the way to the RMC to get it," Kim said. "But I think it's still under construction. The authentication system wasn't working for me on the phone."

Jeeva said that apart from the change in the survey's program, Crush Party will run as usual on Feb. 13, when students can head to the Grand Hall Lobby to collect their survey results and try to meet their matches at Willy's Pub.

"The event has long been a [students' favorite], and so we have worked hard to maintain this," Jeeva said.

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