Zombie apocalypse tests campus emergency preparedness

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, zombies have become such a reoccurring theme part of popular culture in social media, in internet chat rooms, and in shows like The Walking Dead that many organizations have used zombies to hook readers and prepare them “for a zombie apocalypse and, by extension, any kind of disaster, be it natural or manmade.”

Recently, Wilson College used zombies and the threat of zombie apocalypse to provide students with emergency preparedness education in a fun and relatable way. On Friday, Nov. 1, Wilson College hosted its first Zombie Apocalypse Event with a unique Humans vs. Zombies challenge.

The event, designed and sponsored by the Residents Assistants Program and Resident Assistant Director Sherri Sadowski, allowed students some Halloween fun in a competitive atmosphere. Students indulged their competitive spirit in a unique competition while avoiding death by ghoulish “zombies.”

Event creator and Resident Assistant Janelle Wills ‘14 said she had heard of Human vs. Zombies challenges at nearby colleges, and wanted to offer Wilson students a similar experience.

“We have put an educational aspect in the game with emergency preparedness education,” said Wills.

Students teamed up and traveled to various destinations on campus, where they earned points for correctly answered questions about emergency preparedness, all-the-while avoiding “death” by dangerous zombies that lurked behind every corner.

Zombies could “kill” team members and ruin their chances of winning the game by taking away their three “lives,” represented by heart stickers.

Once students had lost all of their lives, they could either wait for their teammate to revive them with a power-up, or become a zombie and forfeit their team’s ability to win the challenge.

Students who participated in Zombie Apocalypse bubbled over with excitement and competitive fervor even before the event began.

Hillary Swartz ‘15 and Chanteal Cobb ‘15 of Team “Ride or Die” came to the challenge with the will to win and a distinct game strategy.

“To win, our communication has to be on point,” said Cobb.

Identifying themselves as Team “Kilt-Killers,” Victoria Whitbred-Davis ‘14 and Katie Omorla ‘14 brought enthusiasm and a remarkably different strategy to the challenge.

“Our strategy is to aim well and run. We don’t need to talk,” said Whitbred-Davis.

More than one team received the winning prize; the top five teams won a spot on a Wilson College campus ghost tour.

The first-ever Zombie Apocalypse event at Wilson College generated much competitive excitement and a whirlwind of activity on campus. Perhaps the event will become an annual Halloween tradition at Wilson College.

For more information about Wilson College’s first-ever Zombie Apocalypse and Human vs. Zombies Competition, contact Sherri Sadowski at sherri.sadowski@wilson.edu.

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