ScrewDriver makes finding a screw for your roommate more fun

7 mins read

Screw Your Roommate has always been a combination of fun and awkwardness. On the other hand, finding a date for your roommate is definitely less fun. This year, ScrewDriver, a website developed by SCCS, is changing this process.
One of the creators behind ScrewDriver Tobin Feldman-Fitzthum ’19 described how the website works.
“Screwdriver works a lot like Tinder, except that instead of making an account for yourself and looking for a match for yourself, you set up an account for someone else, and page through other people to look for them,” he said.
Both Director of Student Engagement Rachel Head and Assistant Director of Student Life, Leadership, and Engagement, Andrew Barclay, confirmed OSE’s uninvolvement in the ScrewDriver project.
Given the opportunity to set up an account for their friends on a quasi-dating website, Swatties got creative.
“People get rather creative with the biographies,” said Ellen Liu ’18, “It [ScrewDriver] allows us, as the matchmakers, to see what a friend writes about a person and if that person seems like a good match for my friend or roommate.”
Feldman-Fitzhum gradually saw the potential for the website, realizing it could be a new outlet for enjoyment at the college.
“As I started writing it more, I realized that people will actually have a lot of fun on this website and I realized that I have friends who take their friends’ phones and mess around on their tinder what not, and that is a really fun activity […] This is actually a very cool dynamic for somebody who’s not into figuring out their social life or whatever to have a friend to do it. I think it could actually be really fun,” Feldman-Fitzthum said.
However, with the freedom to edit another person’s profile, ScrewDriver can bring potential problems. SCCS said they have been aware of the problem since the beginning.
“From day one we knew that there were a lot of risks in this project for doing things, such as messing with people’s personal information that, in a way,  could be bad. We knew the prospect of having someone else write a profile, having someone else to control your identity in a site that can be seen by a lot of people, is a little iffy,” explained Feldman-Fitzthum.
To solve these problems, SCCS made an effort to design ScrewDriver in a sensitive way. After the screwer logs into ScrewDriver and chooses the person they are finding a date for, an email will be sent to the screwee asking for permission. The screwee will get a link in that email. Only once the screwee clicks on that link are they added to the database. Therefore, without the screwee’s permission, the screwer cannot edit the screwee’s profile. Moreover, the screwer cannot change the picture in his or her profile. Only the screwee themself can change the picture through Cygnet.
Students appreciated the way that ScrewDriver was made in which they can feel safe with their personal information being edited by their friends or roommates.
“I’m glad it was created in a sensitive manner, such as only allowing people to make profiles for friends who will approve the request and letting people type their own profile as opposed to asking generic questions,” said Liu.
Liu also mentioned one feature that she thought could have been made better, namely, that a person can have one successful match on ScrewDriver.
“It is a little daunting that we can only match once, and I understand that it prevents some potential problems that comes with matching with multiple profiles. However, it might be made better if there were an option to contact the person who made the profile, and if the match doesn’t seem like a good fit, we could undo the match ourselves,” she said.
SCCS is aware of this complaint, as they have already had to undo matches for several times since the website has been up.
Feldman-Fitzthum explained the reason why you can only match with one person.
“Even [after] hearing what people have to say, we still think we made the right choice because at the end of the day the goal of the website is to get everyone sort of matched up for screw your roommate, find everyone a date, not to find everyone their dream person,” he said.
Still, if users are not satisfied with a match, SCCS will undo it for them in a sensitive and considerate way to make sure that both sides of the match are aware of the decision.
“If the match really doesn’t work out, as this has happened a few times, we are happy to undo them,” said Feldman-Fitzthum. “When you email us to undo a match, we ask both of the roommates to send the email. So the two sides have to be somehow somewhat on the same page. It’s a communal process.”
One of the main goals of ScrewDriver is to increase the visibility of SCCS on campus.
“We do a lot of things that are really important to the campus and they don’t even know that. we do all of their mailing list. People don’t realize that. So we want to do something we actually get credit for. We thought this is pretty ideal, and we have other very interesting things coming up too,” explained Feldman-Fitzthum.
ScrewDriver has made finding a screw for your roommate easier, but it will not change what Screw Your Roommate essentially is: an awkward, quirky, and fun Swarthmore tradition.

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