Dating at UC Berkeley isn’t easy. Students tend to be exposed to the same people over and over again as they take more classes tailored to their majors or don’t even have enough time to consider the prospect of meeting new people.
Now, however, UC Berkeley students have Single Sphere, a free dating website specifically for UC Berkeley students and alumni — launched just about a week ago — created by Harvard University alumna Lauren Malan. Students must submit their profiles and the profiles of their ideal matches to the website before March 24 in order for the “UC Berkeley Matchmaking Coalition” to set people up.
Malan chose to bring Single Sphere to UC Berkeley, among other schools, because she knew people who expressed interest in the idea.
“There’s so many great people to meet on campus and interact with, but often you only know people in specific departments and programs,” Malan said. “I think your social experience can be enriched and broadened if there are other ways to expand your social sphere.”
But UC Berkeley isn’t the first school Single Sphere has targeted. Malan started Single Sphere for Valentine’s Day this year, and it originally targeted current students and alumni from Harvard. Malan said that because it was so popular at Harvard, she and her team decided to open it at other schools as well.
“Within the first few days of putting the website up, we got thousands of responses,” Malan said. “And we’ve received feedback from several people saying they’ve gone on dates or plans to go on dates in the future.”
As of now, Single Sphere is only open to specific universities, not only because it will take time to develop its main department but because Malan believes this is the best way to broaden Single Sphere’s user network.
Although Single Sphere may be the first targeted specifically at UC Berkeley, students on campus have been known to use other dating websites in the past as well. Just last year, SeekingArrangement.com announced there was a 67 percent increase in UC Berkeley students signing up for its sugar-daddy-promoting website. Single Sphere, on the other hand, is focused more on long-term relationships than finances.
When students first set up their Single Sphere accounts, they have to fill out their basic profile information in addition to facts about their appearance, beliefs, values and lifestyle choices. Then, they have to fill out the exact same profile for their ideal match.
As long as students submit their profiles by the March 24 deadline, Single Sphere will match them up either by hand, an algorithm or both, and notify them of their matches within two weeks.
“We would love to keep it open past March 24,” Malan said. “We thought it would be easiest to have people submit by a deadline, and then we’d open it up (again) and continue to match, but we want to wait to have a certain number by the deadline.”
And unlike many other dating websites, Single Sphere is currently free for all UC Berkeley students and alumni, and Malan would like to keep it that way.
“I would love to keep it free forever,” she said. “It would be great to find a way to meet additional people on campus without having to pay.”