Students need to stop monkeying around

By Ben Sullivan

It’s that time of the semester again, when we’re confronted and forced to deal with a select group of students running around campus. What you choose to call them is up to you, however their behavior can be seen as annoying to everyone – everyone but themselves.

This select few can be spotted sprinting through the campus center, running into traffic and playing with toy guns. No, this isn’t some gang of school boys from Wildwood Elementary. Instead, it’s a group of college students equipped with foam darts and red bandanas.

After watching an argument in front of Franklin Dinning Commons about the boundaries of the safe zone, I began to wonder if I have just grown too old to see the fun in a giant game of tag, or if these kids are just weird. I feel like if the University of Massachusetts had lockers and was in an episode of Saved By The Bell, some of these Humans vs. Zombies enthusiasts might find themselves stuffed inside one.

To make fun of these individuals just doesn’t seem fair to me. Not only because it is just so easy, but we also have to keep in mind that the “hippie beach” is often used to host Quidditch matches.

Quidditch is another great example. Once again, it’s college students who run around with broom sticks pretending they can fly. Other than that, I don’t really understand the concept of the game, but then again, I haven’t read the Harry Potter books. But regardless of the rules, it is another campus activity that I fail to see as fun for a twenty-year-old college student.

If a giant battle between young adults pretending to be humans and zombies and some others playing a magical sport from a popular children’s book series wasn’t enough, this campus also houses a group known as bike gang. No there’s no Harleys in this pack. Instead, this gang of hell raisers rides their bicycles around town, taking up lanes of traffic so that they can pedal next to one another. It reminds me of the days I used to bike around town pretending I was a badass – before I turned 12.

I hope I’m not alone in thinking this, and I doubt I am. Running around with broom sticks and playing tag were things I did as a child. I thought that by college things like Pokémon cards and Dungeons and Dragons would be considered childish and nerdy. Yet these kids crawled out of their dorm rooms in Northeast and Sylvan and took over campus with their toy guns.

It wouldn’t surprise me in the least bit if someone started a UMass registered student organization for playing with Legos, and I don’t think these kids are too far from it. The UMass Lego Club would hold its weekly meetings in the basement of the Graduate Research Center.

To any visitor or prospective student on the UMass campus, this makes us look nerdy and immature. But sadly, it wouldn’t be the only warning sign on our campus. I’d have to say having signs posted around campus instructing students to pay attention while crossing the street may suggest that students here are not capable of acting their age. I wonder if all these campus games caused the university to form their doubts about us.

I have heard about many people changing or deleting their Facebook profiles when applying for jobs. Some of the things posted may be incriminating or embarrassing, and they don’t want potential employers seeing them.

I feel that this Humans vs. Zombie game might have the same effect. As the spring semester rolls around, there have been an increasing number of job fairs being held here on campus. I’m afraid my future employer might be ambushed by a group of plastic gun toting college students riding their bicycles or their broom sticks, and they might associate me with them because we happen to go to the same school.

It’s like revenge of the nerds, only this ends with all of us being unemployed after college.

I’m probably coming off like I think I’m too cool, but let me assure you, I’m not cool. It’s just hard for me to understand these games and how, at this age, they are considered fun. Maybe it’s just me who can’t see the fun in a bike gang or Quidditch. I might just be getting old and boring, but I do think that at 20 years of age, maybe, just maybe, you should be saving your money for a car or paying your rent. Not buying huge Nerf guns and Legos.

Who knows though. Maybe playing these games in college is totally acceptable, and I’m just a huge bore complaining about it in the newspaper. But I do have to wonder how it makes our University look to everyone else.

Ben Sullivan is a collegian columnist. He can be reached at [email protected]