CU Assassins set to kickoff (aka, campus readies for paranoia)
*Don’t take this post too seriously.
**There is a Team Spectrum. I am not on it. Do not point a damn water gun at me.
Columbia’s campus is about to get pretty antisocial soon.
11:59 p.m. tonight to be exact, when CU Assassins, Columbia’s annual terror-fest, officially kicks off. Registration ended yesterday, and there are 173 participants, down from a smidge over 200 last year. All participants have received their water guns and they will duke it out over the next few weeks for that $500 first-place prize. Check back in subsequent days for Spectrum’s coverage of this event. For now though, here’s some info on the background of CU Assassins and the rules.
Take this damn competition seriously.
Two stories every Columbian must know about this contest. There is a legend that has been passed down generation to generation, by scores of Columbia students, that goes something like this. One year, CU Assassins lasted beyond spring break. During break, someone still alive in the contest flew back home to New Orleans, presumably to see family and to, you know, relax. Our entrepreneurial assassin got word of the plan, and yep, you got it, flew to New Orleans to land the kill.
The other story, a bit less known, but equally wowing in its “holy shit” factor, details another Assassins contest that went overtime and only ended after the victorious killer shot his target in Baltimore.
What will happen this year? Nobody knows, though for the record, Spectrum would like to see this contest reach international territory.
Five Strategies and WHY THEY WILL FAIL:
1) I’ll just skip all my classes and stay in my room for three weeks.
As spirited and admirable and scary as that strategy is, it is doomed to fail for the following three reasons.
1. Don’t put it past someone to enter through the window or knock down your door. I refer you back to Rule #1.
2. You’ll need to come out of your room sometime to get a. knowledge, b. food.
3. You will be put on the disavowal list, which sucks.
2) I’ll just switch the nametags on my suite or live with someone else for three weeks.
While this is a good precautionary measure, half the teams each year do it. Switching the nametags is a particularly weak plan to make your primary strategy—the game’s true devotees will print out floor plans.
3) I’ll shave my head and/or wear a mask.
I know people (females included) who did that last year (seriously). They didn’t win. Take Rule #1 seriously, but also … please spare your dignity.
4) Camp outside your target’s dorm.
Many a soul did this last year and while it did occasionally work, the true players had ways around that. First, it became standard practice to get trusted floormates to give the target a go-ahead signal. Second, the truly smart targets will invite their assassin’s assassin to their floor. Third, the truly, truly devoted players will never be anywhere near their floor.
5) I’ll travel around campus, Lady GaGa egg style.
You’ll probably win. But you’ll still be a failure.
A Warm Tradition
As per CU Assassins tradition, the first person killed gets a big hug from the ESC President, who this year is Chris Elizondo. From my one impression of him, Mr. Elizondo seems like a cheerful dude, so I wouldn’t put it past a participant to die for him.
Appendix: The Rules
- The object of the game is to a. stay alive, b. kill people.
- Groups of four form a team.
- Every team is assigned a target team to kill. Once that target team is killed, the superior team will assume the target’s target. You have to kill every member of the target’s team to complete your assignment.
- Every team is provided with headshots of its targets and dorm addresses.
- Who can you kill? Your target (duh), your assassin, or people on the disavowal list.
- What is the disavowal list? It’s a public list where once you’re placed on it, any assassin, target or not, can kill you. Every team starts off with 72 hours. You get placed on the disavowal list once you run out of hours. Also, once you’re on the disavowal list, ESC’s elite police force, comprised of hitherto-talented ESC members, can kill you as well. You don’t want to be on this damn list.
- How do you get more hours? A. If the team kills its target (72 hours). B. Individually, if you kill your target (24 hours). C. If you kill someone on the disavowed list (24 hours).
- To kill a person, you have to shoot his/her back. Squirts to the side aren’t kills nor are shots to the head.
- Safe Zones: From their website, “Dodge gym, school computer labs, quiet study rooms, professors’ offices, Columbia work-study jobs, office hours, and places of worship. Classes are also safe zones during teaching times, but NOT before class begins or after it finishes.”
- Really, the most important rule is Rule #1.
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