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Stealthy sophomores ‘eliminate’ one another

The Class of 2016 Class Coordinating Board is sponsoring the grade-wide target-style game

Donning black hoodies, hiding in bushes and posting decoy Facebook statuses are just three of the precautions anxiety-ridden sophomores have taken in the past few weeks. But it isn’t the stress of midterms that has prompted this behavior — these students are immersed in an ongoing, class-wide game of “elimination.”

Twenty percent of the sophomore class has spent the past two and a half weeks on a mission to best fellow classmates in an event orchestrated by the 2016 Class Coordinating Board. Players were each randomly assigned a target whom they could eliminate from the game by tapping with a Brown ID card, according to rules posted on the game’s Facebook event page. The eliminator would then adopt the target of the person he or she had just eliminated. The last person remaining will win a $100 prize.

The board came up with the idea because Nicole Cuervo ’16, CCB 2016 vice president, played a similar game called “assassin” in high school, she said.

The game has given students a reason to sharpen their networking skills.

“I’ve heard a lot of people asking if they know so-and-so” to try to locate their targets, said Katherine Pollock ’16, who chose not to participate.

“The first person I had lived off campus,” said Holly Gildea ’16, who is still in the game. “I basically creepily followed him. I felt a little bit sketchy.”

When a friend of hers found out he was Gildea’s next target, he used his knowledge of her schedule to avoid detection, she said. Eventually, Gildea skipped a commitment and snuck up on him unaware, she said.

Other players have been similarly surprised.

“I was at the Blue Room the other night and the person that I was with, their assassin went over to kill them and she screamed and left without her phone or wallet,” said William Gregory ’16, CCB 2016 president.

Students said Facebook played a vital role in locating targets.

“One of my friends changed his Facebook name and picture on his profile and then immediately got out after that because someone down the hall had him — he was the first one out of the game,” Gildea said.

CCB 2016 Community Outreach Officer Christine Mullen ’16 said she was chased down a street because she was the only mutual friend between one student and that student’s target.

Some participants have come up with creative ways to eliminate their targets, while others have focused more on avoiding elimination.  Dedicated players have even been sneaking into their targets’ rooms while they are asleep, Mullen said.

“I went into Marcy and there was a girl scaling the wall,” Mullen said.

Students have been taking the game very seriously,  enjoying the “James Bond” experience, Gildea said. “I’m on my guard.  One of my friends, every time he sees me, pulls his ID card out to make me think he’s going to get me. The first time he did it I jumped into a bush,” she added.

Though students are vulnerable to elimination in most places around campus, there are certain safe zones, such as bathrooms and absolute quiet areas in libraries, according to the posted game rules. Students are also safe during classtime and while working  a job.

“It doesn’t interfere with studying too much because absolute quiet places like the library are off limits, so it actually kept me out of social spaces last week when I had exams,” Gildea said.

But many students still opted out of playing because they believed the game would add to their daily stress levels, said Meredith Heckman ’16, secretary of CCB 2016.

The game “was just one more thing” to add to her already busy schedule, Pollock said.

Out of the 311 people who originally signed up to play, 134 have yet to be eliminated.  The game is expected to end before Thanksgiving, Heckman said.

CCB 2016 leaders said the game has been a great success.

“More people have participated in this event than any of our other events,” Mullen said.

“There has even been talk of repeating it next year as a sophomore event,” Gregory said, adding that the event may eventually become an annual sophomore tradition.

“CCB is all about building a sense of community.” Heckman said. “Although ‘elimination’ is an antagonistic game we still like that it’s producing an idea that we’re all in it together.”



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