Matchomatics is a popular outsourced survey distributed by the Programming Board that asks a series of questions about interests and personality traits which matches students with each other based on compatible answers. In early Feb., 493 students took part in the annual survey, 200+ fewer than last year and the year before. While Matchomatics has been a St. Olaf tradition for a while now, there have been growing concerns about the quality and price this year.
Many questions in the survey seemed to be targeted toward a younger demographic. Questions like “when do you have net access?” and “if you get busted for sneaking out, your excuse is?” seem more fitting for a high school rather than a college setting. This was further corroborated by the question “your claim to school fame is” followed by the choice of various cliches like the “class clown,” “jock,” and “nerd.” More befitting of a coming-of-age movie rather than for St. Olaf. This is most likely because the Programming Board selected Matchomatics’ most popular questionnaire, which is targeted toward the middle and high school demographic. This is interesting since Matchomatics provides a university questionnaire with more appropriate questions.
Beyond issues with quality, there are also some concerns about price. So far the base cost
per PDF is 0.89 cents with an additional 0.10 cents charge per result with the birthday trivia added. This amounts to a cost of 488.07 dollars to the Programming Board according to the Matchomatics website. Given the lack of engagement and lack of age-appropriate questions some wonder if this price is worth the value to the student body. Given the Programming Board’s limited budget, this is an important issue that they may need to address if they wish for this St. Olaf tradition to survive.