561 USask Students ‘Seeking Arrangements’

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Chase Wouters of the Saskatoon Blades signs an autograph for a wide-eyed fan after the team’s final fun-day skate. The Blades completed their regular season on the weekend and will begin a first-round playoff series against Moose Jaw this week. (Photo by Darren Steinke)

The number is hard to believe.
There is no way 300,000 university students in Canada have used a website which connects them to well-to-do people who can help them eliminate their debt. Right?

It’s true, say the folks at SeekingArrangment.com. 

SeekingArrangement helps introduce students — mostly female — with older, wealthy men for companionship. 

The University of Saskatchewan ranked eighth in the country in the number of new members in 2018. A total of 114 signed up last year, bringing the USask total to 561 students.  

That strikes me as being a really big number in the seeking arrangements world.

In these relationships, the young women are known as Sugar Babies and the older men as Sugar Daddies. I despise both terms, but that’s what they are called. SeekingArrangement describes the relationships as an alternative method to fund education. 

I’m guessing few, if any, would join the site if they didn’t need — or want — the money. It was pointed out that part-time jobs don’t pay as well. It seemed a bit creepy to see one 18-year-old woman in a contractual agreement with an over-40 male. I’m thinking she hasn’t brought him home to meet the parents.

In a graphic which was part of a press package, the young women — and some young men — registered at the site are students, actors, teachers, flight attendants and nurses. Their average age is 26. The men — and some women — offering them support are an average age of 41, with an annual income of $250,000. They are doctors and lawyers and CEOs and financiers and the like.

The students typically receive about $3,000 a month for their companionship. 

“With the average yearly tuition for undergraduate students costing more than $6,000, Canadian students are turning to wealthy benefactors to alleviate some of the financial burden,” the release said.

The photos on SeekingArrangement are provocative. Clearly, the men are not doing this from the kindness of their hearts. Clearly, the kindness extends beyond their hearts. 

“Every successful relationship is an arrangement between two parties. In business, partners sign business agreements that outline their objectives and expectations,” SeekingArrangement CEO and founder Brandon Wade said on his company’s website. “Likewise, romantic relationships can only work if people agree on what they expect, and what they can give and receive from each other.”

Wade, a self-proclaimed geek in his college years, is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, so he is one smart cookie, unless someone wrote his entrance exam. That’s quite the scandal in the United States, isn’t it?

Wade has been accused of running an online brothel. As he said in the quote above, he connects people through his website and what happens after that is none of his business. 

His worth is estimated as being as high as $35 million.

A few years ago, I interviewed a Saskatoon student, who was using SeekingArrangement. She said her debts were being paid and she was travelling extensively with a man she legitimately liked. He wasn’t from here, so they had to travel to meet. 

She said it wouldn’t last because she wanted to get married and have children with a man closer to her in age and with similar interests. By that time, she would be debt free and maybe have a few dollars in the bank.

I try not to be judgmental: to each their own and all of that.

*****

It’s that happy time of year when the list of the most popular baby names in the province is released.

There are some names on the boys’ list from the era when I was named. At No. 2 is Oliver, No. 7 is Jack, No. 9 is James and No. 12 is William. 

Eighty-nine boys were named Liam last year. Liam has topped the list for nine consecutive years. Olivia held her title as the top girls’ name. 

Rounding out the top three girls’ names are Emma and Harper. I have never known a Harper, but 55 girls born in 2018 have that name. Rounding out the top three boys’ names is Benjamin.

A number of boys’ names from the top 20 in 2017 didn’t make the list in 2018. They included Owen, Daniel, Gabriel, Asher, Leo and Hunter. Girls’ names that fell out of the top 20 from a year earlier are Addison, Brielle, Aria, Quinn and Madison.

New boys’ names on the list are Ryker, Emmett and Elijah, while Ellie and Ivy made the list of girls for the first time. 

In Alberta, Olivia, Emma and Charlotte were the top three girls’ names. Harper was at No. 7. On the boys’ side, Liam topped Oliver and Noah. Benjamin was No. 8. 

In total, there were 15,364 live births in Saskatchewan in 2018 and 50,000 in Alberta.

I would like to welcome each and every one to our world. Hopefully, it will become a better place.