Webb events are unsafe for students: A victim’s perspective


Bianca Arteaga

In this collage, hundreds of students gather at the Crossroads ready to play Zombie Apocalypse. The peer advisors expected around 75 people to show up but were shocked when they discovered hundreds of students wanted to participate in the game. This is the most people that have ever played Zombie Apocalypse, which caused a lot of chaos at the event. Peer advisors also created posters to advertise the event and wore scary Halloween masks.

Whether you are dancing in front of the entire school for Theme Night, running away from peer advisors in Zombie Apocalypse, playing dodgeball on Webb Day, or even trying to place a sticker on your target’s back in Assassin, an integral part of the Webb experience is participating in the events that student leaders and faculty advisors plan for the school.

Webb students constantly compete with one another to be the best at whatever they do, inside and outside the classroom. While competitiveness can motivate students to perform better, it can also go too far, which at times, results in injuries if people are not careful.

“I definitely think that being overly competitive is a risk factor in Webb events,” Karma Griggs (‘23) said. “Sometimes it can be beneficial in an academic sense, but when you are doing competitions and things like that, you have to slow down and think so you don’t fall and get hurt. When Zombie Apocalypse happened, people were really competitive and got hurt much faster.”

In addition to students falling and getting hurt, the word “chaotic” simply is not enough to describe the events of this past Zombie Apocalypse. The combination of novice participants, speeding vehicles, and running in the dark does not equal a perfect recipe for complete success. Numerous students got injured during the event and had to go to the health center to be treated.

I was one of those students that had to be treated at the health center because of an injury at Zombie Apocalypse.

I was driving with another peer advisor up gym hill in a golf cart. I noticed two students hiding from the zombies in the bushes in front of the health center and got out of the cart to go chase them. As I rushed out of the cart, a purge mask dropped to the ground. The lighting made it hard to see where it fell but as I reached down to grab it, the golf cart ran over my hand and the mask cut my fingers, which caused my hand to be injured badly.

While student leaders and faculty members cannot discourage participants from being “too competitive,” they can take extra precautions to help make events safer in the future.

It is not safe to have moving vehicles driving around campus while people are running in the dark on hard cement. For future events, it would be safer to hold events in well-lit areas so people can see the path better if they are running.

“I got injured up next to the faculty houses past the chapel,” Richard Alrachid (‘22) said. “I was stuck on the outside of the wood post and metal guard rail thing that blocks cars from falling into the small valley. On the other side were two zombies, and we were only separated by a few feet, so I decided I had to clear the guard rail and keep running. Unfortunately, as I leaped and stepped onto the metal edge, my foot slipped out and, on the way down, I scraped my inner leg and wrist, and eventually caught myself by hitting the edge of the metal with my upper thigh.”

Additionally, high exertion events that require a lot of running and physical touch should be moved to a space with softer grounds or fields. Centennial, Chandler, and Faculty fields are all ideal locations for more dangerous activities because the grass is softer than the road or cement.

“There is always a sort of risk-management conversation when you are doing a game,” said Melanie Bauman, Director of Counseling & Health Education. “Every year, when we have about 75 people playing, the campus isn’t quite as crazed. But this year, we had many more, and we did not anticipate this. We did have people get injured, but that’s because they were doing things that were technically against the rules.”

However, there are events other than Zombie Apocalypse that are a risk factor to students.

Assassin is a game that takes place in the spring semester, and every Webb student can participate. At the beginning of the game, you will be assigned a “target” and receive stickers. The goal of the game is to place the sticker on your target’s back without them noticing. If you successfully place the sticker, your target is eliminated, and you will then receive their target. However, if someone places a sticker on you, you will be eliminated from the game.

Students “hunt” each other for five days, which causes a heightened level of competition for hundreds of people. People run away from others and take extreme measures to not get eliminated. These measures are dangerous because the course of the event lasts for an entire week throughout the entire campus.

“Assassin is intense and makes you constantly look over your shoulder everywhere you go because though you might know someone as your friend and be unsuspecting of them, you don’t know their true intentions,” Nikhil Jindal (‘22) said.

To prevent participants from getting hurt, it is important to emphasize that student health is more important than winning a competition. Students should be mindful of their surroundings and must also understand the rules of each event to ensure their safety.

In addition to Assassin, however, every class can compete in Webb Day/Night. This event is a class competition that occurs over a two-day period. Each class will have representatives compete in multiple games and activities including Just Dance, Dodgeball, Earthball, Arm Wrestling, Jeopardy, and more. The rivalry between classes can become so intense that the simple act of watching an arm wrestle match can become dangerous in a crowd of people.

Through all these events, the best way to keep Webb community members safe is to re-emphasize rules and regulations. Because there is so much excitement surrounding returning to in-person events, Webb students should acknowledge and pay attention to the established rules in order to still enjoy the thrill of these activities. Student leaders and faculty can also make changes to events to ensure the safety of participants while still making the event enjoyable.