NSOP did away with the cannabis reference as they resurrected the BlaZelast year’s experimental cross-campus relay event —  for the 2011 set. Bwoggers Sara Vogel and Ellen Kessel were embedded with the troops on the new, PC-polished “Take One: Ultimate Team Challenge” and filed this report:


Surrounded by Orientation Leaders baiting their charges with a rainbow of free t-shirts, we couldn’t  help think back to sleep-away camp, and the rite of passage that was Color War. Bunks were severed , meals were silent, friendships were tearfully won and lost to the tune of team fight songs.

notblaze17We expected less drama and commitment from this jaded group for the evening’s “diversity event.” UTC reeked of good, clean, fun – the BlaZe’s soda-pong, whipped cream, and powdered donuts were nixed in favor of a bean-bag toss, a three-legged race, and CU trivia. “There were too many innuendos last year,” one NSOP committee member told us. “We wanted to keep it clean this year.” But despite it being a thinly-veiled ice-breaker, from where we stood the first-years seemed genuinely into it.


notblaze13“This is SO INTENSE” one said. “It is exhilarating,” panted another on his way to the “find someone who…” activity.

“There’s no running allowed,” the NSOP committee member told us. “But look, they clearly almost want to run.”

Shocked by how few of the first-years were playing the game with detached irony — or drunk — we watched them learn each other’s names during the bean-bag toss, hold hands to float a hula-hoop around a circle, and collaboratively complete a game of Sudoku. Cries of Yellow 2! Green 18! echoed in the humid air.

notblaze11One orientation leader said 2011ers took the game so seriously, some pushed each other out of the way as they vaulted across Broadway for activities at Barnard. “They are viciously competitive,” he added, comparing them to the more “laid back” class of 2010.

Sadness swept over the groups that arrived back at Low Plaza in time to watch this team take all the glory — and the Starbucks gift cards:


This guy must have enjoyed himself. We spotted him again about an hour later resting his arms on the very same two ladies — they only looked slightly miffed.