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Fraternities Partnerning with Tinder and Bumble

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University Students Must Register with the Dating Apps To Gain Entrance to Parties

It seems that mobile apps today will do just about anything to reach the coveted 18-24 demographic. It is being reported that popular dating apps Tinder and Bumble are forming odd partnerships with college fraternities, in which they are providing cash as well as merchandise and the sponsorship of parties in exchange for the fraternities requiring that their party guests sign up for one of the apps.

According to the report, each fraternity must sign up for either Tinder or Bumble, as the contracts require exclusivity. The fraternities afterward receive cash for each new user they sign up, in addition to getting branded gear for the parties as well as help covering the costs of them.

At the moment, is not exactly clear just how widespread these contractual relationships are, as both apps refused to divulge this information. But so far these relationships have been confirmed to exist at some very big schools, including the following:

   -University of Texas at Austin
   -Oklahoma University
   -Tulane University
   -Northwestern University

Once a fraternity signs a deal with either Tinder or Bumble, they hold parties that require app membership. So, for example, if a Tinder fraternity holds a party, all guests upon entering the door will be asked if they have posted a profile on Tinder U, which is the college version of the app. If they do have a profile, they gain entrance to the party. If they do not a profile, though, they are required to scan a QR code with their phones and post a profile on the spot if they want to gain entrance to the party. Attendees must post profiles even if they are in a long-term relationship or are not interested in dating.

Some parents are understandably wary of the partnerships. Joell McNew, who is the president of a community safety organization at the University of Texas called Safehorns, says that parents are interested in knowing the full extent of the relationships between the apps and the fraternities, which is another thing that the apps are right now refusing to disclose. She calls it an awareness issue.

One thing, though, is certain: the partnerships make plenty of sense for apps like Tinder and Bumble, who are trying to acquire young users that will continuing to use the apps after they graduate college and get both good jobs and disposable income. However, the benefit is less clear for fraternities, apart from some very short-term financial gain. They have long been struggling with poor reputations, especially with the opposite sex, and it is difficult to see how associating themselves with hook-up apps like Tinder and Bumble will improve this.

One female reporter covering the story went so far as to lament the passing of what she termed "simpler times," when women like her only had to put up with a few hours of inappropriate gazes when attending a fraternity party in the past, while now they have to put themselves on display in front of the whole world.
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