Paly Matchomatics cancelled over concerns, Gunn to continue

Senior+Nisha+Mata+purchases+a+Valgram+from+Palo+Alto+High+Schools+Associated+Student+Body+in+preparation+for+the+Valentines+Love+Week.+

Senior Nisha Mata purchases a Valgram from Palo Alto High School’s Associated Student Body in preparation for the Valentine’s Love Week.

Senior Nisha Mata purchases a Valgram, a gift that students can have delivered to others at school, from Palo Alto High School’s Associated Student Body in preparation for the Valentine’s Love Week. This year, Paly’s administration decided to cancel Matchomatics, an annual Love Week activity pairing students with personality matches based on a questionnaire, due to concerns about “unwanted attention.” “I thought it [Matchomatics] was really fun and interesting,” Mata said. “It was a whole community building thing.” (Photo: Sofie Zalatimo)

Due to concerns of inappropriate behavior, Palo Alto High School’s Associated Student Body will no longer hold its annual Matchomatics event following the administration’s decision to cancel it this year. Despite this decision, Henry M. Gunn High School plans to continue the tradition, Gunn Student Executive Council says. 

Matchomatics, in which students fill out a questionnaire and receive a list of personality matches based on the results, was introduced as a part of ASB’s annual Love Week leading up to Valentine’s Day in 2019. Matchomatics participants are offered a printout with a list of matches based on similarity of questionnaire answers, in order of their percentage compatibility. Students are also given a “Most Opposite” list and a random “Mystery Match.” The event is aimed at helping students meet new friends. 

According to Paly Assistant Principal Jerry Berkson, the administration has some Title IX concerns that the event could result in stalking and other inappropriate behavior.

“In the past, some students have received unwanted attention as a result of the match results,” Berkson said.

After the cancellation of Matchomatics, Paly ASB shifted its focus to several other Love Week events. (Graphic: Paly ASB)

According to junior Jack Poon, a Gunn SEC special events coordinator, the Gunn administration has not shared any Title IX concerns with ASB related to Matchomatics.

“Gunn students have always been respectful with the results, and I think that’s a big part of why it’s still been a success,” Poon said. “Matchomatics is just a fun way for the student body to celebrate love, something I believe falls completely within the professional duties of Gunn ASB.”

Poon said that he did not believe students pursued their match results seriously.

“Most people find it as a fun thing to post on your Instagram stories and share with your friends to see if you get them as a match,” Poon said.

Associated Student Body President Johannah Seah said that although she and other members of ASB were disappointed by the administration decision to cancel Matchomatics, there are plans to offer fun alternative events during Love Week, from karaoke to mural-making.

“The loss of Matchomatics allowed us to focus on other activities,” Seah said. “While I hope we can do Matchomatics in the future, we have to follow admin decisions and make the best of our situation.”