Marquette Wire

Express Pass to aMUzing Labor Day break

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Some underclassmen found themselves with no plans last Friday. A university-sponsored scavenger hunt saved others from their boredom and allowed them to explore the city.

The aMUzing Race, part of Marquette Mania, is an annual photo scavenger hunt that takes dorm residents across Milwaukee each Labor Day weekend. Both Marquette Mania and the Golden Eagle Games encourage students to stay in Milwaukee over the long weekend.

Winners earn raffle tickets and points for their dorm. Raffle prizes this year included men’s basketball tickets, Bublr Bike subscriptions and food.

Lauren Jones, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences and president of the Resident Hall Association (RHA), spent nearly three months planning this year’s race. While she was living on campus this summer, she spent upwards of ten hours a week brainstorming and planning for the city-wide scavenger hunt.

She worked with other members of RHA to choose sites across Milwaukee that were safe, easily-accessible and well-known by members of the Marquette community.

RHA used an application called GooseChase to judge the competition. Teams log in to the application and find a list of places to go and photo challenges at each stop. The judges stay on campus and watch online for photos to be uploaded. The more creative students are with their poses and the faster they get through the race, the more raffle tickets they earn at the end of the night.

“It’s for first-year students to kind of get familiar with the surrounding Milwaukee area,” Jones said. “It’s also to encourage them to reach out to people in their halls and to do something with them over the weekend.”

Jacob Pieczynski, a junior in the College of Education and a resident assistant in Mashuda Hall, said that he joined three other RAs and several residents as Mashuda’s team in the race. He was able to connect with new people in his residence hall.

“It was a great opportunity to get to know people I had not met in the building,” Pieczynski said.

The number of participants this year was lower than usual. Last year, over 100 students showed up to participate versus approximately 50 this year. Jones attributed the drop in attendance to the Chainsmokers concert near campus that night.

More than a dozen students showed up to represent McCormick, with each dressed head-to-toe in blue clothes and face paint. They ran toward check-in together, chanting and waving a homemade banner over their heads.

Other teams brought a similar excitement to the table.

Troy Humes Jr., a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences, showed up to participate with other students from Straz Tower.

“Initially I only came because I had nothing better to do,” Humes said. “But when I saw the team’s morale, I got competitive.”

McCormick came in second place for the last three years. Their excitement was fueled by their determination to break the record and bring home first place.

 

Mustafa Anwar, a junior in the College of Health Sciences and resident assistant in McCormick, ran the race with his team.

“This race is the kick-off of an amazing effort by our team to win gold in the Golden Eagle Games,” Anwar  said. “We’re here to win and stop the second place madness.”

McCormick failed to bring home the gold. Mashuda, an underdog in the competition, came out on top.

Their strategy was to hit the most valuable locations first. “I think that strategy was the difference in the end,” Pieczynski said.

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