Student-zombies try to liven up U

Nikki Wee

It was like a scene from a horror movie Friday as undead, swaggering zombies lurched and shuffled their way around campus.

But it was all in playful fun, as University students dressed up as zombies and paraded around campus to “create a little trouble,” said English senior Dan Linden.

Dane Johnson, political science junior and organizer of the event, said he got the idea from similar events in San Diego and Toronto. He originally wanted to get at least 100 people to dress up in tattered clothing and dead-looking makeup, he said.

But Linden said there was a deeper meaning to the event.

“Zombies don’t judge,” Linden said. “That’s what we’re trying to convey here – diversity. When everyone dies, this is what we’ll all look like.”

Johnson said that although he posted fliers around campus, it ended up being just his eight friends in the end.

“It’s hard to encourage people to make fools out of themselves,” Johnson said.

Johnson said the participants gathered in Goldy’s Gameroom to prepare for the event. Fake blood, costume makeup, flour and scissors were some of the tools used to make the group look more like the living dead.

While he had wanted to put on the event for a couple of years, he said there had been problems with planning and organizing.

“I just got a new video game I needed to play, and I also just turned 21, which was bad for planning,” he said.

But the group is hoping this will become a bigger event once students hear about it. The group is planning for a spring scouring as well.

“It could end up like capture the flag,” said computer engineering senior Charles Swan. “At first, only a few people showed up, but now, it’s a huge thing.”

First-year English student Daniel Weispfenning said he heard about the event from a Facebook group he joined.

Because the date had been rescheduled several times, he sported his costume last Thursday thinking the walk was then. He received weird looks walking around his residence hall with a pink, frilly wool sweater and cut-up pants.

“The main reaction was ‘I think he’s drunk,’ ” he said.

Institute of Technology infrastructure junior Clay Nadeau dressed up as a businessman from the ’80s who killed himself. He hung a noose around his neck and carried a bloody bag of “cocaine.”

“Who doesn’t want to dress up as a zombie, honestly?” Nadeau said.

As the zombies walked out of Coffman Union, they were greeted with a variety of reactions from onlookers.

“It reminds me of ‘Dawn of the Dead,’ or any of those ’80s horror movies,” said business management sophomore Ryne Erickson.

University alumnus Matt Swanson came back to attend a meeting and ran into the parade of zombies.

While he said the scene was what he considered to be typical of college, he also said it was a fun sight.

“My last two years were spent at Carlson, so it was all very formal,” he said. “This is always fun to see.”

Theater junior Samantha Johns saw the zombies and started critiquing their acting abilities.

“The picture doesn’t work for me,” she said. “They’re all trying to act like zombies but they all have the same movements.”

But the important thing was that they were having fun, she said.

During her first time on campus Friday, high school sophomore Jessica Schultz was surprised she saw the zombies.

“It’s the strangest thing I’ve ever seen,” she said. “I can’t wait to come here now.”

However, the sight of zombies walking around campus didn’t surprise everyone.

First-year mechanical engineering student Kirk Davis pulled out his camera phone to get a video of the zombies when he saw them.

“It looks like a bunch of college students being stupid,” he said.

“It’s the ‘U,’ ” said first-year dental hygiene student Soua Vue “You have to expect this sort of thing.”