Dating app propositions UMSU board

Bumble pitches services, student group partnerships

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Student ambassadors for popular dating app Bumble held a presentation outlining its services to UMSU during its board meeting Sept. 26.

The presentation did not precede any related motion, as presentations often do at UMSU board meetings.

UMSU vice-president community engagement Kyra Fanning said the presentation was instead meant to inform board members representing student groups of Bumble’s willingness to partner and provide financial support by sponsoring student events.

“Bumble reached out, they want to connect with more student groups on campus,” Fanning said. “I suggested that they come to the meeting to talk about the student groups and what they can offer to the student groups.”

Fanning said she first pitched the idea after meeting Bumble ambassadors at a Commerce Socials event in September.

“They’re given whatever they want in terms of funding or merchandise and they’re supposed to reach out to different student groups on campus and partner with them on different events,” she said.

Bumble offered event sponsorship, such as movie nights or bar tabs, to the union at the meeting.

The presentation focused on the app itself, explaining how students can connect with each other. Fanning noted afterward that she had hoped the presentation would centre more around what Bumble can do for student groups rather than serve as an advertisement for why students should use the app.

“Their pitch was a little more focused on Bumble itself and not on what they can provide,” she acknowledged.

Fanning said her intention was for Bumble to explain how it could provide funding to student groups and organizations.

“I thought they would open up with ‘Hey, we’re here to help, we can provide XYZ, this is more about Bumble,’ but they kind of did the opposite,” she said.

“So then the board had a lot of questions.”

Following the 10-minute presentation, a question period — also lasting 10 minutes — ensued.

One board member questioned the point of the presentation and expressed concern it felt like an advertisement.

Fanning responded that she had invited Bumble to make sure board members were aware that they could partner with Bumble for events such as socials in order to alleviate financial constraints.

“They want to partner with more student groups and associations and councils on their events and can provide financial support as well as boosting their name as well, so that’s why we invited them there,” she said after the meeting.

Fanning said UMSU chooses what companies can present to the board by asking whether or not they can “provide value to the board,” and noted these sorts of presentations are not likely to be a regular facet of board meetings throughout the year.

“I considered them because they are actually students here — some are students here, some are at the U of W — and they’re kind of ambassadors for the brand,” she said.

Celeste Patrick, one of the Bumble representatives who delivered the presentation, said her aim was to make more campus connections.

“Our goal being at the UMSU meeting was just to get a better representation on campus because we didn’t have the connections,” she said, noting that some board members have already reached out.

“I think it was pretty successful,” she said.

“I’ve had a few reps reach out to me and I’ve been in contact with Kyra from UMSU consistently and we’re going to be working together for the rest of the semester and hopefully the rest of the year.”