The Mr. SMC event at the campus center this year featured six contestants this year who sang, danced in drag, and stripped down to tight-fitting swimwear for the title of Mr. SMC. Brendan McCarthy, shown left, won the title. Other contestants are Billy Malouf, center, and Marshall Betz, right.
We are lurking under the overhang in front of Baltimore Hall, waiting for food. There are eleven of us, hiding and glancing impatiently at each other as we smoke cigarettes. People pass by and see us and point, but we don’t care, because we’re waiting for that special kind of person whom we can eat and turn into one of us. We see one. I sprint after him quietly along the path to the pond, but as I fall in about 10 feet behind him, he turns around swinging two melee weapons in my direction, making it impossible for me to close the distance without being hit. I try, but it’s no use – this one is properly prepared for the zombie apocalypse. I return to my group still hungry.
If this sounds like an odd post-apocalyptic monster story, you’d be half-right. This game has gripped St. Mary’s campus for the past two weeks. It has led to many amusing encounters between the two different sides, including some at Baltimore Hall where groups of zombies wait hungrily for a human to walk by.
My memories of becoming a zombie are a blur. One minute, I came out of a townhouse at Mardi Greens, surrounded by some other humans . The next minute someone I thought was my friend came up to give me a pat on the back and then informed me that he had eaten my brains. Mardi Greens was a veritable feasting ground for the zombie horde, and it was only a matter of time before all but a rare few had become a zombie.
The game is fairly simple. First, those interested in playing join the Facebook group for the College. Everyone starts as a human, and they signify their humanity by wearing a bandanna on their arms or legs. Everyone, that is, except for the Original Zombie (who is notified via Facebook), who then starts infecting people as zombies.
Zombies have to wear bandannas on their heads, and to feed on and infect humans they have to tag them. Humans can defend themselves by shooting a zombie with a nerf gun or hitting them with a sock, which keep zombies from interacting with humans for 15 minutes. If a zombie goes 48 hours without feeding, it is out of the game.
The first few days for most humans were just a slowly building paranoia and an excuse to carry your nerf gun to class. We would see each other on the path, random people who didn’t know each other, and chat about who might or might not be zombies as if we were talking about the weather. But then our survival instinct kicked in when we realized that not everyone was to be trusted. After Mardi Greens, humans were a paranoid minority; soon, most zombies had starved because of a lack of humans to eat. The game may not have had any huge battles between the two sides, but it sure made going to class a new experience.
About 40 students and staff and two College administrators jumped into the St. Mary’s River on Thursday, Feb. 18 by the River Center as part of the annual Polar Bear Splash. Proceeds gathered from the event supported relief for victims of Haiti’s earthquake.
The participants, many of whom were decked out with facepaint or St. Patrick’s day regalia, splashed around in the water for a minute before getting too cold. “Feels good, doesn’t it?” said Aaron French, one of the organizers, over loudspeaker. Then the shivering participants left the water to towel dry and drink hot cocoa.
This year’s Polar Bear Splash was the fourth installment of the annual event which occurs every February, arranged by the Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC). The event, smaller than last year’s, went off without a hitch despite some worries about injury. Last year’s Polar Bear Splash incurred cuts, scrapes and trips to the hospital for four participants. Many had run into the water barefoot, stepping on shells and sharp rocks.
This year, SEAC set up a First Aid Station on the River Center patio and required everyone to wear shoes before they could participate. “I’m happy that the EMT was unnecessary,” said junior Tara Hutton, a member of SEAC.
Part of the safety concerns included making sure that people were safe when they ran into the water. “[Last year] we told people to wear shoes but weren’t requiring it; that obviously caused a lot of damage to people,” said French. As a result, “this year we had a shoe check.”
Participants made suggested donations of $3 to be part of the Polar Bear Splash, a change from previous years. Junior Johanna Galat, SEAC’s president, said that because the event this year had better publicity, SEAC raised a lot more this year than in previous years. Instead of its usual process of donating funds to environmental activism, the organization plans on donating proceeds to relief in Haiti through the organization Trees for the Future. Trees for the Future is normally involved in reforestation projects, including efforts in Haiti. This year, it will also branch out to provide general relief to victims of Haiti’s earthquake.
Two College administrators, Tom Botzman and Chip Jackson, ran into the water as well even though they arrived late to the event. “They went in as a secondary thing,” said French. “But they went in.”
SEAC organizes other events on campus in support of environmental action. Last year the organization arranged trips to Washington D.C. for the climate conference Power Shift and the protest against the Capitol Power Plant.
The library, typically a place of silence and study, was transformed into a 12 hole mini golf course on Friday, April 24th. With holes snaking through reference books, periodicals and even chairs, students and faculty had to demonstrate pro-level putting skills on this challenging par 45.
The fundraiser for the Class of 2011 was spear headed by Class President, Charles Onwuche. Organized last year by the Class of 2009, mini golf in the library is a new tradition at St. Mary’s. One that Class of 2009 President, Kalada Nemieboke, was gracious enough to let the Class of 2011 take over, according to Onwuche and a tradition that he hopes to pass on.
“We had a great turn out,” said Onwuche as he watched the last few groups finish up. Although he did not have a final count, Onwuche felt confident that the fund raiser was a success. The funds will go into the Class of 2011’s general account and will most likely be spent on the class’ Senior Week.
Whether it was on the 1st hole, ‘The Outback,’ located on the patio outside of the library or the final hole, which started at the top of the theater style classroom on the third floor of Baltimore hall, most golfers struggled to keep the ball from rolling too far on the unforgiving library floor. Putting the ball behind the holes, which were often made out of half a solo cup taped to the floor, also presented a challenge.
Not to Pete Karis, Studio Supervisor for the Art & Art History department, who managed a hole-in-one on the 9th hole. Also known as ‘The Magazine Maze,’ this hole featured a small ramp at the end of a row of periodicals on the second floor of the library. “All I could think of was Chevy Chase from [Caddy Shack] saying ‘nahnaanahnaa’,” reflected Karis.
“It was cool, really good times,” he added with enthusiasm, “they should do it every Friday afternoon.”
Mike Snow, Class of 2012, was hesitant at first but warmed up quickly saying, “the first couple of holes were kind of lame but the rest were really cool.” He also commented that he “thought it was a shame more people did not turn out.”
Of those who did show up, Team IPS came in first with the overall lowest score, followed closely by Team Fail in second place and Team Parlament Mathadelic in third.