The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Humans face grave danger as zombies rise

Zach Walsh
Opal Polanco `26 and Maggie Morris `26 caught in a game of eat or be eaten.

If, while walking across campus last week, you had to dodge a spare Squishmallow as it soared through the air, you did not narrowly avoid a heated roommate disagreement, but rather were witness to the campus-wide game of Humans vs Zombies (HvZ) hosted by Student Involvement. 

HvZ is an annual event hosted on college campuses across the country acting as a large, moderated game of tag. This year, the game’s first at Grinnell, saw around 75 students sign up to participate in the week-long event. 

Participants picked up a yellow bandana and a small Squishmallow plush toy from the division of student affairs office on Monday. The bandana was used to signify a player’s status — around the arm for humans and around the head for zombies. Zombies could ‘tag’ humans by touching their Squishmallow weapon to their human target. Once tagged, human players transformed into zombies.

The goal of the team of zombies, who were randomly assigned from the list of participants, was to change as many humans as possible to join their undead army. The remaining humans were meant to keep their numbers alive as long as possible.

MJ Gibney, assistant director of Student Involvement, first played HvZ at her alma mater, Simpson College, where the event has been a regular occurrence for a number of years. She said that bringing this game to Grinnell was meant to be a new way for students to have low-stress fun on campus. 

“There’s no prize,” said Gibney, “It’s more of a kind of fun little thing to do. It’s more of pride.”

Opal Polanco `26 and Brianna Hinds `26 participated in the game this past week, both starting on the human team. Polanco decided to join so that she could have something entertaining to do throughout the week.

“It just seemed like one of those things that you can only do when you’re in school,” she said, “It’s just a cute little thing that I can do for a week and can decide how much attention I want to pay to it.”

Polanco fell victim to the zombie team after she was struck while talking to a friend outside.

It just seemed like one of those things that you can only do when you’re in school

— Opal Polanco `26

Hinds regularly attends Nerf at Noye, a weekly event in which students use Nerf guns to battle amidst the winding halls of the Robert N. Noyce `49 Science Center. She said that HvZ felt like a way to participate in a campus-wide version of that.

“I’ve seen other colleges do something like this before,” she said, “and I was excited that Grinnell was taking the time to do this.”

Since this is HvZ’s debut year at Grinnell, Gibney said that she will be looking to players for feedback to use in next year’s game.

 Polanco and Hinds both said that they felt that the event could benefit from more participants. Out of the 75 students who signed up to play, a little over half showed up to collect their bandanas, according to Gibney.

“To be honest, I don’t think as many people as I thought signed up, so it’s more a few of us,” said Hinds, “I think it would be more fun if more of the school decided to join.”

Polanco shared this sentiment, saying that the game is “one of those things that benefits a lot from having way more people signed up.”

That being said, both Polanco and Hinds intend to participate in HvZ next year. They said that the game was a fun way to bring excitement to their week, and for Polanco, the game provided an additional perk, “I got a Squishmallow, and it’s really cute.”


Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Eleanor Corbin
Eleanor Corbin, Editor in Chief
Eleanor is a fourth-year political science major with a concentration in statistics. Nine out of ten times she is ready and willing to discuss embroidery, types of loose-leaf tea, and metal music. Best approached with her favorite candy, cherry Twizzler bites, in hand.
Zach Walsh
Zach Walsh, Staff Photographer
Hey y'all! My name is Zack, I'm a third year, and my pronouns are he/him. I am a photographer here at the S+B and enjoy taking photos. If you have any proposals for photos events or opportunities, feel free to reach out!
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *