On the Hunt

By Brian Benson

With Red Bull running through their veins, students ran, biked and T’d around Boston for 24 hours during the first annual “Amazing Husky Hunt.”

Sponsored by the Resident Student Association (RSA), more than 600 students participated in the campus-wide scavenger hunt, making it one of the most popular events the organization has ever put together.

“This was much more successful than we ever could have imagined,” said Smith Anderson, RSA vice president for programming, to the crowd congregated at Centennial Commons Saturday night.

The winning group will receive 12 round-trip tickets to anywhere in the U.S. from JetBlue. Anderson said the winner will be announced in about a week, giving RSA time to tabulate the points from all the groups.

The hunt challenged 50 teams of 12 to solve more than 350 riddles and questions that led them to destinations throughout Boston. The points awarded to each solved riddle or question depended on the difficulty of the task. For example, finding three people named “Bob” over the age of 29 with an ID was worth more points than finding Cappy’s.

Once teams deciphered the clues and answered the questions, they then had to get to the locations, and take photos as proof. Throughout the night, they uploaded the photos to the RSA office located in Stetson West. One stipulation was that teams could only use the T as means for transportation. Cabs and cars were prohibited.

The sheer number of locations often posed a difficult challenge for some of the Husky Hunters.

“It’s a lot harder than I thought because the list is so overwhelming,” said Meghan Clausen, a freshman psychology major.

Despite the breadth of the event, Anderson said there were many additional locations they could have included.

“There’s easily another thousand things we could have done,” he said. “The possibilities are endless.”

Some students said they wanted to experience an activity that deviated from the usual weekend parties.

“It sounded like a fun thing to do,” said Marisa Block, a freshman communications major.

She added, “No one [in our group] knows Boston, but we’re going to win.”

Freshman participants said they felt it would be a great opportunity to learn more about the city. Anderson said that’s what he hoped all participants take away from the hunt.

“We decided it would be a good way to get to know Boston,” said freshman Sarah Huyck, an art major, who learned of the Husky Hunt through Facebook.

Huyck’s team, like many others, prepared a strategy that involved splitting into groups of three to four, each covering a specific area of Boston.

“[Our strategy has] consumed my life for the last four days,” she said.

Some teams participated for the thrill of staying awake all night.

“It sounded like so much fun to be awake 24 hours running around Boston,” said Mckenzie Bennett, a freshman international affairs and education major.

Taking a page from the CBS reality TV show the “Amazing Race,” teams partook in academic and physical detours on the Northeastern campus worth additional points. These included subject tests, a pentathlon, an egg drop for female participants and a sewing competition for the guys.

“I definitely did not think the challenges would be this intense,” said Chris Herbert, a sophomore music industry major.

Though many of the test questions, which included physics, math, history and Spanish, were taken from 101-level courses, some participants struggled after staying awake all night.

“Everyone stared at the board for five minutes,” said Emily Quinto, a sophomore pharmacy major who took the physics exam. “I’m in Physics 101 and I didn’t recognize any of the questions.”

Anderson said the event was “enthusiastically” supported by the administration, including President Joseph Aoun, who attended the Saturday night finale.

“I loved it,” President Aoun said. “It shows the great school spirit we have.”

Aoun said he would like to see future events of this magnitude held at Northeastern.

Anderson stressed the effort RSA put into organizing the event, which included visiting more than 85 percent of the clue locations.

“My staff was extraordinary,” he said. “This wouldn’t have been possible without them.”

Throughout the night, students donated canned goods for additional points. By the end of the weekend, about 800 pounds of food was collected, Anderson said.

Though they did not directly participate in the scavenger hunt, many of the RSA members still enjoyed the night.

“It seemed like such a huge event it would be fun even if we were on staff,” said Hillary Bucklin, a member of the RSA General Counsel and Programming Committee. “And I was right, it was a blast.”

Bucklin said she was just as tired as the participants since the programming committee spent many late nights leading up to Friday.

“We’ve been staying up until the wee hours of the morning preparing for it,” she said.

After he graduates in May, Anderson hopes this year’s hunt will spark a tradition that will continue after his tenure is finished.

“It wouldn’t surprise me next year if it was twice as successful,” he said.

Many of the participants said they would take part in the hunt next year, adding it was one of the better Northeastern events this semester.

Although Block said she enjoyed partaking in the night’s activities, she was looking forward to one thing: sleeping in on Sunday.

“I’m so tired I can barely think,” Block said afterward. “It was an adventure.”

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