The month of October is a very busy time for Wichita State University (WSU) Campus Activities and Recreation. With the fall season in full swing, the cool weather in Kansas creates the perfect setting for events.
That’s one reason why Karolina Mosa, the program specialist of Facilities at WSU, said the department takes advantage of the ideal environment to create a strong relationship with students.
“Our campus transforms to this beautiful scenery you just want to be around,” said Mosa. “Many of these events bring the Wichita community to campus. At the same time, we get a different crowd of students because not all these events center around fitness and recreation. They can be more fun and other ways to socialize.”
The Spooky Events
Mosa said the activities which receive the most attention this month are a combination of fall and Halloween-themed offerings such as:
Humans vs. Zombies
Humans vs. Zombies is a campus-wide game of tag that takes place October 11-13. Students must register to play, and they must attend a rules and fair play meeting on October 10.
At the meeting, players receive a game card and orange bandana. These items are essential to gameplay. A handful “zombies” are then introduced, and all other players remain “humans.” Through the week, humans must wear a headband around an arm to identify as players of the game. Zombies must always wear a headband around their head.
Humans may stun a “zombie” for 15 minutes by throwing a sock at them. When tagged by a zombie, a human is required to relinquish their ID card. One hour after being tagged, they tie a bandanna around their head and become a member of the zombie team. Zombies must feed every 48 hours by reporting their tag to the designated form via email. The winner is the last human standing.
The Murder Mystery Dinner
On October 29, the Murder Mystery Dinner serves up food and laughs as guests become characters in this production led by professional actors from the Jest Murder Mystery Co. Registration includes access to the special event and a three-course dinner. Registration rates are $8 with a WSU ID, $15 for faculty/staff and $20 for the general public.
The theme of the murder mystery is “Bullets in the Bathtub” and is set in the 1920’s. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed in fedoras and flapper dresses to match the subject matter. The program does contain mature content and is intended for adult audiences.
Fright Night and Big Pink Volleyball
Mosa said Fright Night on October 28 is a “spooktacular” time when the Campus Activities and Recreation staff turns the Heskett Recreation Center into a haunted house from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Other attractions like glow yoga, games, snacks and more are also available for those who want to avoid being frightened.
For an event featuring physical activity, the Big Pink Volleyball Tournament takes place on October 21. This competition has a unique twist on tradition volleyball as participants play with a four-foot pink ball. The tournaments acts as a fundraiser for breast cancer research.
Pumpkin Run 5K
The Pumpkin Run 5K on October 22 allows participants to race in Halloween costumes. All racers will receive a shirt and a finisher medal. Awards are given to the top age group finishers and overall winners. Children age 12 or younger are also allowed to run in the Little Pumpkin Fun Run 1K, and there is also a virtual 5K option available.
Preparation and Tips
Mosa said the 5k run started in 1982 as a Turkey Derby in November, but in 1995 they moved it to October due to the weather. The date change also came with the name change to Pumpkin Run. She said they start preparing for many of the events in the spring, but there is an added focus on the Pumpkin Run.
“The 5k takes a lot of time to put it together,” said Mosa. “We have to get the registration going, order medals and trophies, design and order T-shirts, recruit sponsors, and more. With Fright Night, we are always thinking of new ways to build something scary, so we collect items all year long.”
Big Pink Volleyball, Humans vs. Zombies and Murder Mystery Dinner are events Mosa said can be put together relatively quickly, but they must remember to get the word out on campus in enough time before each event happens.
“At the beginning of each semester our professional staff knows which events are going to be ‘all hands on deck,’” said Mosa. “During staff meetings we keep each other informed of what duties are assigned to whom, details about the event and overall logistics. We want everyone to know as much as they can to be able to answer questions. October is our busy month, and the students love it. We just have to be ready.”
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