Human vs. Zombies spreads natural disaster awareness
Published: Thursday, November 1, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 1, 2012 23:11
Professors and instructors have always wondered if Indiana State University students were zombies; well they were not all wrong. ISU students’ undying need for human flesh was finally relinquished in the gruesome fight against the living versus the non-living Wednesday night.
Invented at Goucher College in 2005, Human vs. Zombies is a game that has spread all across colleges, and all over the Internet. According to humanvszombies.org, over 650 colleges and universities, high schools, military bases, summer camps and public libraries play Humans vs. Zombies.
The object of the game for the zombies is getting all human players to be tagged and turned into zombies. The humans are to survive long enough until all the zombies starve.
A group of ISU students, however, sought to bring more than just nerf guns and stress balls to the playing field. Motivated by their Introduction to Public Relations course taught by professor Lakesha Anderson, they came together to raise awareness on how important it is to be prepared for any kind of natural disaster.
With Hurricane Sandy wreaking havoc along the East Coast, it was important to this group of students that the community should be prepared for the unexpected.
“Disasters strike at any time. Just look at Hurricane Sandy and you have to be prepared for [them],” junior communication major Gernitria Ladson said.
This group of students agrees with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claim that if [one] is prepared for a zombie apocalypse, [one] can survive anything.
“[Before playing] we had [students] write down what they would need in any natural disaster,” sophomore communications major Josh Tidwell said.
“They wrote [their list] on index cards, so when they get tagged and turn into zombies we take their cards and see how prepared they [were],” Ladson said.
Before students exceeded in the chance to play the popular game, they had to go through a crash course on what and what not to put in their survival kit at a callout meeting Monday evening.
“We explained the most important things to put in a survival kit,” Ladson said. “We purposely put the education part first. They sat through the education part, so they [got] to do the fun part.”
Only ISU students were allowed to participate.
“[Students] had to sign a waiver just in case they [got] hurt and the waiver only protects ISU students,” Ladson said. “We certainly did our research to make sure that we were doing this right. We [even] talked to Public Safety and got cleared.”
The group of students used several different marketing strategies to get the word out including word of mouth, social networking sites and posting flyers about the event all over campus.
“The whole thing was thinking how many people we could get out here, how good we spread the word, what did we do to spread the word, our different tactics and strategies [and] it’s all really beneficial to [ISU] because it brings awareness,” Tidwell said. “Whatever needed to be done we just divided it up [between group members], sent e-mails, exchanged phone numbers, just whatever needed to be done.”
“We were in the Commons for a full week doing sign-ups. We definitely used Facebook and Twitter, but word of mouth definitely our biggest way [to get the event out there],” Ladson said.
Many students were excited that ISU finally hosted the event, after several failed attempts to make this event happen.
“A lot of people were excited when they first heard about this event. Many tried but could never get the credibility to be able to host [Humans vs. Zombies],” Tidwell said. “We even had to get sponsored.”
The event was sponsored by the Hulman Memorial Union Board and the Division of Student Affairs.
Students were also able to dress in their costumes and partake in the best costume competition. Students were awarded with candy and gift cards for whoever could stay human the longest.
“I think this is something every campus should experience; you can teach people through fun,” Ladson said.