Why there was no Paranoia this year

By Jared Huhta

Wright 1st hung up photos of Hardy girls they needed to tag during their own version of Paranoia. (Photo by Steven Uhey)

Wright 1st hung up photos of Hardy girls they needed to tag during their own version of Paranoia. (Photo by Steven Uhey)

With a student-organized game of “Humans v. Zombies” striking campus recently, some students noticed its similarity to “Paranoia,” the campus-wide game organized by student senate that has been played for several years. This year, however, the game will not be organized by any university groups.

Paranoia involves students hunting down other students and tagging them with a name tag in exchange for another student’s name. When a students’ own nametag is slapped on their back, they are out of the game. The last person to not have anyone find them and put the nametag on them wins. Senior Tori Cohagan won the game last year.

“I enjoy Paranoia — even though I never lasted very long into the game,” Jesse Brown, associate dean of student development, said. “I have played almost each year that I have been at HU.”

Student senate decided not to host the game this year and proposed that the student activities board handle the popular game.

“Senate approached us last year saying they did not want to be over Paranoia any longer, mostly because they do not want to be too event-heavy,” Kyle Metzger, SAB coordinator, said.

Metzger said SAB never planned on hosting Paranoia because “we believed that we had better and more fun events to do that we wanted to put our time into,” he said.

One of the downsides to Paranoia was students skipping class or leaving early to avoid being eliminated from the game, Metzger said.

“No one specifically told us to not do Paranoia,” he said. “There was a general sense I was given by multiple people in student development that said that many professors were unhappy with the effects Paranoia had on attendance and attention. For that reason, we decided to not do it. We desire to have a good relationship with professors. If the good did not outweigh the bad, it wasn’t worth it for us.”

He said student reaction has been minimum.

“We have heard very little about [not having Paranoia],” Metzger said. “To me, it doesn’t seem like students see a huge gap since Paranoia isn’t happening. I never participated, but I have to say that even I saw almost only the negative effects, including lack of attendance. To me, the benefit certainly did not outweigh the negative side-effects.”

Senior Rosa Cruz said the game should have been offered this year because it is traditional.

“Although some professors are not O.K. with it, I think it’s worth the tradition,” she said. “I enjoy it, and I was kind of sad we didn’t do a school-wide game.”

Wright 1st, Hardy 1st and Hardy basement hosted their own version of Paranoia even though there was not a campus-wide version of it. But Brown said Residence Life as a whole won’t facilitate a campus-wide game simply out of caution.

“Res Life works hard to support academics and inside-the-classroom learning so I don’t want our programs to distract from what takes place in the classroom,” he said.

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