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One of the many things new students look forward to in college is dating. Students are eager to see if their soulmate is out there and not have their parents get in the way. However, eagerness can quickly turn to anxiety when universities do not prepare for this inevitability. The University should do the student body a favor by helping them navigate dating life in college.

The University parades itself as the state’s “flagship institution.” It has been able to because of the resources it can provide students. The University has innovative minds that can create a cutting-edge dating service for the modern-day college student, but this need hasn’t been met because students are full of pride.

Hardly anyone wants to admit talking to men or women is a struggle. However, it is hard to deny how pressing it is to find your mate. College relationships need to be more than hookups and one-night stands. It would be phenomenal to see the University show an interest in positively impacting students’ lives in this manner. If it serves as any comfort, the University would not be the first to venture into this area.

Academic institutions like Boston College have shown an interest in students’ romantic relationships. In an article published by the magazine “America,” philosophy professor Kerry Cronin discussed a project she gives her students every year called “The Dating Project.”

“Too many students let their vulnerability or fear of rejections rule their decisions,” Cronin said. “Dating has become a lost social script."
 
Cronin said she began assigning the project in 2005 when she noticed her students lacked the social skills needed in daily living.

It is crazy to think a university with more than 30,000 students wouldn’t have anyone with the same problems. Twenty-six percent of the University’s students are freshmen — the largest group on campus. Twenty-four percent of students that attend here are not from Louisiana. For most of these students, coming to LSU is the most significant change in their life. This change can easily lead to social anxiety and rash decisions to be noticed.
 
Dating is a way for students to ease their worries of beginning their college career alone. Unfortunately, good examples of how to safely meet people in 2019 are hard to find. Online dating services claim they are the safest and most effective option for college students, but research shows this may not be the case.

In a survey conducted by ABODO, 91 percent of college students say they use a dating app, with 84.4 percent of those respondents using Tinder. However, only 4 percent preferred to use dating apps for meeting people. Not only are most of these services non-effective, but they also pose safety concerns. Twenty-seven percent of college students reported harassment while using the app. The services that had the most harassment were Grindr, OkCupid , Bumble and Match.com.

It is hard to believe these apps are the best options for college students, especially when it costs money to use its full potential. If so many students had to resort to online dating, the University is fully capable of creating a dating app just for students who go here. Most importantly, it would probably be free. 

It’s understandable to see how a college administrator talking to a 19-year-old about dating could be awkward. However, the reality is students will look to someone for help. The University should be appalled that so many students rely on dating apps and Tigerland to meet someone when there is a better way. Parents should be concerned about their children possibly meeting up with a stranger and having their lives changed for the worse. The University should take action.
 
Donald Fountain is a 21-year-old mass communication sophomore from Saint Francisville, Louisiana.

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