“Gotcha!” This word is sending a wave of paranoia across campus. Students are running to and from classes to avoid getting “got.” Other students can be seen outside buildings waiting for their victims, with guns at the ready.
Has Amherst created a new class in stalking? Nope. The Social Council has sponsored a campus-wide game of Gotcha! in which every player is issued a water gun and the name of another player to “get.” Each player must track down and shoot the person he is assigned to “get.” The goal? To become the master player on campus by being the last one left standing. Along with the prestige of being the Gotcha! Master, the winner also receives a DVD player.
The pool of people playing has been quickly reduced. The growing list of those who were “got” is posted in the Campus Center. According to some players, the hunt is actually much more fun than the actual “get.”
“Stalking after my victim makes my mouth water!” said master stalker Fred Sanchez ’04.
There are many techniques with which to lure your victim outside: eat a three-hour lunch in hopes of seeing your target in Valentine and follow him outside, intercept his wings order at gunpoint and pretend to be the wings guy, pull the fire alarm inside his dorm, stake out his dorm for 24 hours and forego eating, class and bathing. Anything short of a felony isn’t considered going too far in this game of survival. Morality and ethics are simply thrown out the window when it comes to Gotcha!
Many students are taking this game very seriously and vow that they will win come hell or high water. Some students feeling bitter about being “got” have even formed alliances to capture the student who got them.
“Gotcha” is quickly becoming a wild entanglement of trickery, deceit and fun. “Gotcha is making me feel like ‘Lord of the Flies’ is too close to home,” said Sarah Bergman ’04. “I don’t want to end up as Piggy.” It’s amazing to see what some water guns and a legal opportunity to reveal the stalker within you can do to a campus.
The full monty
As liberal as Amherst is touted to be, public nudity remains, to the discontent of some, a rarity. Many students were given a surprising interruption to their Friday afternoon routine last week, in the form of a naked Andrew Doss ’03. Doss, wearing only a backpack, strolled the campus in the buff that day.
“Students here aren’t mischievous enough. We wait for stuff to happen,” said Doss. “It wasn’t meant to be stagey or a statement. I just felt like getting naked and it was one of the last days that might be warm enough to do so.”
“When I first walked into the Campus Center I passed by a guy who stopped me and said, ‘Surprise, surprise. There’s a surprise!’ in a mysterious tone,” said witness Katayun Adhami ’04. “At first glance I just thought ‘Hmm … there’s a lot of people here and one of them’s naked.'”
“I’m not searching for a revolution of nakedness, or a revolution of whim, or a revolution of anything really except maybe a revolution of expectations and a revolution against walking through and past Amherst,” said Doss.
For Doss, his nudity was nothing more than going against social norms, but for others, it was offensive. “I didn’t see the point,” said Shannon Fischer ’05. “All it did was make me turn the other way.”
“If people were [offended], then they need to take an apple and bite it and tell me if it tastes like life, ’cause their corpse is pretending to move,” said Doss. “We take ourselves too seriously sometimes and need to be able to laugh at our silliness.”