Buie also heard of a project at Columbia University called “Columbia Missed Connections,” a platform where students submit the names of people they’ve been interested in throughout college with the hopes of being matched.
And Columbia students love it.
“People break up with their boyfriends for this,” Solnick said. “Over spring break, they’ll say, ‘We just need to take a break. We can get back together, but I need to know who my missed connection is.’”
Once the inspiration was there, the podcast came naturally. Solnick has a job at WXYC, UNC's on-campus radio station, and plans to work in radio after graduation. She’s used to class projects, and wanted a fun passion project with friends.
“I was trying to rediscover why I wanted to do radio,” she said. “So I texted Grace and said, 'Let’s do a dating podcast together.’”
“And I’m a podcast groupie, so I latched on pretty quickly,” Buie added.
The response has been overwhelming. Their Facebook page, which launched on April 8, already has over 500 hits.
“I’m obsessed with this idea,” said senior Allie Kelly, who experienced a missed connection last year. “I had a class with this guy and we were very flirty, but he didn’t ask me out. And we didn’t realize that we were a thing until a few weeks before he graduated.”
Solnick and Buie hope to save future seniors this pain.
The podcast also addresses UNC’s most notable dating dilemma — the dreaded gender ratio.
“We nailed the female appeal immediately,” Buie said. “And that might be because girls are more likely to talk about a guy they met at a party three years ago than guys are.”
Solnick and Buie consulted their guy friends and learned that in order to interest more men, the process needed to be streamlined and anonymous. They stopped requiring bios and photos, and started encouraging guys to just send in their name to be part of the matching process.
“We need more boys to be emailing us right now because we have so many wonderful women who would love to do this,” Solnick said. “We’re in the final process now of finding the best boys.”
Solnick and Buie are finishing production of their first episode now. The series will include a pre-date and post-date interview — and, potentially, some personal stories about dating at UNC.
“The end of senior year is a great time to do this,” Buie said. “Everyone is winding down from their academic experience and there are those missed connections.”
They hope their podcast can be a fun and loving way to end the year.
“We’re seeing people get engaged right now,” Solnick said. “And there is just this little feeling in the back of your mind when you graduate single — like, ‘Well, I didn’t find someone in college.’ So we want to give people their last chance.”