ALMOST 1,000 Cork students have signed up to a dating website that allows them to meet potential dates who are willing to contribute to their living expenses in exchange for company.
The website, Seeking Arrangements.com, claims almost 10,000 Irish students have joined its existing 2.5million students, “seeking sugar daddies as an alternative method of financial aid” and as a “way to get on top of their student loan debt”.
According to Reflex Media PR manager Alexis Germany the site recorded 132 new sign-ups from Cork college students last year — 68 from UCC and 64 from CIT.
Data sent to the Evening Echo shows 571 UCC students and a further 423 CIT students are registered, but it is unclear how many of these students are active users of the site.
Clients are known as “sugar daddies” and “sugar babies”.
Martin Scally, UCC Student Union President, said he does not know anyone registered with such a site.
“I’ve heard different people talking about it and I’ve heard people think about the idea, but I didn’t think it was actually an ongoing thing.”
However, he said he has heard people “weighing up pros and cons of it. I’ve heard different girls going on about, saying ‘Oh well, you don’t actually have to do anything with them; it’s just a case that some of them want to meet up and have a chat and stuff like that’.
“I think it’s very taboo; being totally honest I don’t know a lot about it.”
The website claims many students sign up to alleviate the pressure of college expenses.
Mr Scally said: “It might just be some students might just want to have a bit more disposable income and then you might have the case that some students just want company.
“To each their own, I suppose. There’s nothing illegal about it as far as I’m aware. What you do in your own spare time is your own business.
“If you meet up with someone for a cup of coffee and get money off them, or get a phone off them, or rent paid off them, or something like that, that’s your own business.”