Looking to meet new people on campus? Try GraduDate

A couple was spotted kissing at Riley Park, on August 8, 2022. Riley Park is a popular spot for family and couples to spend their day at during the summertime. (Photo by Joanna Mendoza/The Press)

You’ve heard of dating apps before.

Undeniably, they have become a big part of our modern dating culture. These applications have made finding love convenient for single people who are busy and or unable to find partners within their community.

With smartphones being the norm now, connecting with potential partners and creating meaningful relationships is in our hands. You might just meet your future significant other in the comfort of your own home while wearing pajamas.

There are numerous apps already, such as Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge, just to name a few. These popular apps have helped connect people, but are they the best for students who are new to dating?

Introducing GraduDate: a dating app for students who are looking for meaningful relationships on campus.

All you need to do is sign up with your student email and finding friends and potential lovers in your campus is that easy.

Nicholas Cervania, GraduDate’s developer, is a software engineer, and a recent graduate from the University of Calgary. Cervania worked on developing the app for 10 months, prior to its release this year.

Nicholas Cervania poses for the camera on March 29, 2023. Cervania is a Software Engineer that developed the app called GraduDate. (Photo by Joanna Mendoza/The Press)

GraduDate is an app by and for students. Whether it’s friendships or romantic relationships, GraduDate can be an easy way to meet people on your campus.

As we have evolved into beings who are chronically online, dating apps have provided so much ease for its uses who are looking for connections and relationships. But with its convenience also comes problems.

Fortunately, with Cervania’s knowledge in software engineering, he came up with a solution to address it.

There are many problems surrounding dating apps such as safety concerns, scams, false representation, and overwhelming options of people, which can discourage potential users, especially young people who are new to dating apps, from embracing the culture.

“As a user, I could identify the issues, but as a software engineer, I knew that I could create a solution. I knew enough that I could create my own,” said Cervania.

GraduDate uses student emails that are provided by their respective institutions to confirm its user’s identity and suggest people that are within your school campus.

This makes the app safer, less crowded, and familiar to its users, says Cervania.

“Young people who are forced to be vulnerable on these platforms, it’s kind of a dangerous place,” he said, referring to popular dating apps.

“So that’s the great thing about GraduDate is that we know that everyone that you see on your app is going to be a real person, and they’re not going to be a robot.”

With GraduDate’s unique concept, young people who are in post-secondary have access to safe and exclusive community.

The ‘exclusive to students only’ concept came very much earlier, according to Cervania.

The idea stemmed from its developer’s personal struggles when he was younger.

“In high school, I was a pretty lonely kid,” says Cervania.

This struggle ultimately led him to create the first prototype built around the same concept as GraduDate for an AP computer science class.

“For my capstone, I wanted to build a software application that sort of built around high school students making friends,” says Cervania.

The first prototype was a Java application that ran on a desktop, where you can create a profile and select your respective school. Its functionality, however, was limited.

“The idea was still there, even if the execution was bad,” said Cervania.

That became what we know today as the app called GraduDate.

After its release in February, the GraduDate community has grown constantly. According to Cervania’s last update, there are 76 users in total and students who find out about the app are receptive to it.

“It’s growing every day, like user growth has been positive,” said Cervania.

But before its success, it also started with a shaky beginning, as Cervania had a hard time connecting with his target market.

“It’s definitely been tough trying to get out there, like tell students that this solution exists,” he said.

Cervania has utilized websites such as Reddit to advertise the app.

“The initial response was like, ‘oh this is a really stupid idea,’ ‘why would you do this?’ But after I explained to them what it does, they’re like, ‘oh, wow, this is actually like a really cool idea,’” said Cervania.

With persisting problems that comes with using dating apps to socialize, students might have a hard time finding it useful. But with GraduDate, the dating culture for students might just change for the better.

About Joanna Mendoza 6 Articles
As a news reporting and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Joanna Mendoza is working as a writer for The Press in 2023.