The Niagara News is the community newspaper of Niagara College located in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada. It is created and produced by the students of the Niagara College Journalism program.
By CARLY MCHUGH Staff Writer Up to your eyeballs in debt? Struggling to get out of it with your minimum wage job? There may be a solution at your fingertips. SeekingArrangement.com is a dating website for young people to meet older men or women interested in financially providing for them. Recently, it has been using its Sugar Baby University ad campaign to appeal to those who may be interested in finding someone to pay their student debt. The site promises each sugar daddy eight sugar babies to choose from, as there are currently 2.6 million of them using it. There is a great deal of sugar mommies using SeekingArrangement to find matches as well. “It’s shallow all the way around, no matter which way you look at it,” said Davis Gilbert, a General Arts and Science student at Niagara College, describing the use of the site to be rid of debt as a “gutless” practice. “I think they’re taking the free ride,” he said. On Jan. 26, Global News produced a Top 20 list of universities in Canada that had students sign up in 2014. Nine of them were in Ontario. “I’m struggling to work, gig and have over a full-time course load. So, I can totally understand why people would sign up for that website,” said Alanna Gunn, a Music student at University of Toronto. Currently, U of T has ranked number 1 on the Top 20 list with 195 new student members. “I’m sure it’s comparable to the tuition and work of other schools,” said Gunn. “But we also have a lot more students than other schools. So statistically that makes sense.” While she understands why many students have chosen to use the site, Gunn does not completely agree with it and believes there are more ways for students to rectify their debt. “With ever-increasing tuition, it’s just upsetting how that can be someone’s only option, or a better option than working for minimum wage and having to sacrifice study time for money.” Former McGill student Samara Charters isn’t surprised students are turning to SeekingArrangement to try to address their debt. “Coming from a graduate student who owes $30,000 to go to one of the best schools in Canada, I understand why McGill women would want to pay off their loans quickly,” she said. McGill isn’t far behind U of T with 161 new memberships.