Scavenger hunt players find diversity on campus

Some people, like anchorman Ron Burgundy, may think that diversity is an old wooden ship used in the Civil War era. “Around the World in 24 Hours,” the College’s first official scavenger hunt, tried to correct this common misconception.

The scavenger hunt, which focused on the diverse atmosphere of the College, started on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Townhouses West lounge and ended 24 hours later. The Office of Residential and Community Development, Phi Alpha Delta Fraternity and Upper Class Government (UCG) sponsored it.

“With 95% of (College) students coming from New Jersey, it is easy to assume that it is a relatively homogeneous school; the mission of this program is to prove this statement wrong,” junior business and fine arts major Benjamin David Novak, vice president of both Phi Alpha Delta and UCG and coordinator of the event, said.

Team Bizarros! won the scavenger hunt and the $180 gift certificate to McCarter Theatre in Princeton. The team consisted of junior business administration major Jessica Chang, junior nursing major Tara Collins, junior business administration major Joe Adorna and junior civil engineering major Nick Starzynski.

Teams could include up to four people, whose job it was to solve various riddles and collect different items on a list given out to participants, for prizes worth over $300. Questions included “Find all the former names of the College,” “What is room 19 in the Music Building used for?” and “Which sorority has a ‘Sunshine Chair?'”

Teams had to find items like a picture of an old chapel at the College, a copy of the Black Student Union logo and Cono Sanseverino’s business card.

The group that collected the most items in the least amount of time would be announced the winner. However, a team could still win if they handed in a more complete list of items found and riddles answered, even if they were slightly slower than the first team. Players could come in first place, as well as first and second runner up.

The rules were simple: be safe, especially if searching during the night, have your answer sheet signed by one of the event coordinators before handing it in and of course, no cheating. Eleven teams had pre-registered, but applications were still being accepted until 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

Prizes included the $180 certificate for the first place winners, a $50 certificate to a local Thai restaurant for the first runners up and a $20 gift card from Panera for the second runners up.

The prizes were awarded Wednesday at 7 p.m., after the conclusion of the hunt. Ethnic foods and beverages were served to highlight the diversity theme, and teams chatted and ate as they waited for the results of the judges.

“I came up with this program in hopes of being able to bring all areas of campus together to take part in an engaging mental and physical activity in which everyone can come together to bond, learn some important things about our diverse campus community and, most importantly, have some fun,” Novak said.

Novak was very pleased with the event and the big turnout. “Everyone put a great deal of effort into the hunt, and I think that everyone gained at least something from the event,” he said. “I would like to thank all of the people who helped make this program such a huge success.”

While this was the first year for the scavenger hunt, its success means that another one will probably be planned for next year. This bodes well for any future Ron Burgundys of the world, who will hopefully learn not to associate diversity with anything nautical.