Last updated: April 13, 2012 12:20 pm
University of Alberta dating website sparks student connections of love
Connections on Campus yet another school-specific, student-started dating site
EDMONTON (CUP) — It started with a note, carelessly left on a bench on campus — or so it seemed.
It was an enigma that piqued the interest of passing students and urged them to visit a certain website. Posters appeared in the weeks that followed, tacked up in buildings all around campus. Loose notes fluttered from seat to seat, all bearing the same cryptic message: “Are you single?”
It turns out the answer is yes — hundreds of students are single and ready to mingle on Connections on Campus, a dating website exclusive to the University of Alberta community.
Website creator Tyler Lazar said the website was originally supposed to be a reading week project. Having read numerous flirtatious messages in The Gateway’s Three Lines Free and getting a general awareness of the dating scene on campus, Lazar realized there would be a market for a dating website.
“I see a lot of people writing, ‘Oh, I wanted to talk to you, but I was too shy,’” Lazar said. “It just kind of came together.”
The second-year engineering physics student said the website doesn’t necessarily provide a solution to students’ dating woes. Rather, it offers an alternative way of meeting people that might work better for some students.
“After the idea occurred to me, I did some Googling and found that there are already a few college dating sites in the U.S. that each operate at several universities across the country. I figured, why not here?” Lazar said.
But the main difference between those websites and Connections on Campus is that his site only allows student with a U of A email to register, filtering out any unwanted users, Lazar said.
The site was originally called “U of A Connections,” but Lazar said he had to change the name for copyright reason.
Although Connections on Campus is the first website Lazar has started from scratch, it’s already attracted 450 active members, a number that he expects will grow significantly in the future.
“I’ve decided to keep a low profile, and until recently, only a couple close friends have known it’s me behind this site,” Lazar said.
Lazar said he’s never used a dating website before, and doesn’t plan on making a profile of his own either.
“I think making a profile on my own dating site would feel kind of wrong, you know?” he said.
Some of the future features Lazar intends to improve include multiple profile pictures, and a live-chat system, as well as advertisements.
“Basically, my goal is [that] I would like to monetize the website by putting advertisements on it eventually, if I could get enough traffic,” Lazar said. “Based on how much I’m getting right now, I could probably get a couple hundred bucks a month, but I’m just going to wait until summer before I worry about that.”
Students can access the website at connectionsoncampus.net.