Posted on November 12, 2014 by Tia Lalani

For three days at the end of October, Augustana Campus dealt with a serious zombie infestation.

By Lisa Feng

IMG_6234For three days at the end of October, Augustana Campus dealt with a serious zombie infestation. As they have every year since 2010, the Science Club put on the highly anticipated, multiple-day chase-and-tag game Humans vs. Zombies, pitting uninfected humans against terrifyingly contagious zombies. This year, 115 Augustana students from first through fourth year participated in the event, which began at the stroke of midnight on the Wednesday before Halloween.

Demonstrating the principles of immunology and infectious diseases (not to mention how one’s autonomous nervous system works under stress!), the event began with only two zombies: a first-year student living in residence (Patient 0), and an RA from the Ravine Complexes (Patient 1). Zombies identified themselves with red headbands, while humans wore blue. Over the next three days, the zombie contagion spread with a single touch from an infected zombie. As for the humans, the only protection they had against becoming zombies themselves, other than hiding in a “safe zone” such as their dorm rooms or the library, was hitting a zombie with balled-up socks or Nerf bullets. (In fact, Humans vs. Zombies has turned into such a major campus event that local Camrose stores now stock up on Nerf guns and ammunition before Halloween every year in order to meet demand).

Over the course of the next three days, competition was fierce. Uninfected humans hid in classrooms, in washrooms, and in the library while zombies prowled outside. Some refused to leave their dorm rooms. Still others raced from class to cafeteria in packs. “The game runs 24-7,” says Michael Haig, President of the Augustana Science Club. “At first, it brings the humans together in groups for protection, but at the same time – especially as there are more and more zombies – it becomes survival of the fittest.”

IMG_6235This year there were additional challenges laid before the humans, such as taking a selfie in front of of Martin Luther – a requirement that made the iconic statue a popular hang-out space for zombies – as well as a one-hour midnight stand-off, during which time points were doubled for infections or zombie kills.

At 1:00pm on Friday, the game was declared over. When the dust settled, there were 15 humans still standing. The first three participants to reach the designated safe point at that time won top honours (gift cards to local restaurants and a Science Club t-shirt respectively), while gift cards were also awarded to the human with the most zombie kills and the zombie with the most infections. The afternoon ended with a pizza party for humans and zombies alike.

The Augustana Science Club is one of the biggest and most active clubs on campus, involving science students from all majors and minors, from first to fourth year. The primary purpose of the club is academic, with tutoring support available, an upcoming essay writing workshop for science students, and senior student mentorship. Additionally, they plan several fun events each year; for example in addition to Humans vs. Zombies this year, there will be an upcoming road trip to a local microbrewery next semester. For more information on the Science Club and other clubs found on campus, please visit the Augustana Student Association site.

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