Bwog enlisted yet another freshman corresponder, Aseel Najib, to summarize this year’s incarnation of the NSOP-sponsored scavenger hunt, CU: Remix. 

Before the Remix could start, Columbia continued its schedule of live PSAs.  Entitled “Community Forum”, this one aimed at bringing together students of various ethnicities, religions and sexual orientations, and highlighted the importance of social activism and diversity on campus. Skepticism ran high as incredulous students shuffled out of the auditorium, raising their eyebrows and plugging in their iPods.

Unlike previous versions that stayed on campus, CU: Remix’s scavenger hunt took place all over Morningside Heights. At the start, freshmen reluctantly crowded Low Steps and College Walk, searching for their teammates, as orientation leaders took to yelling out the names of their groups in Bazaar-like fashion.

Eventually, team members were located, groups were formed, and t-shirts distributed. Some freshmen, already too cool for group t-shirts, called it a night and headed back to their dorms, disposing of the shirts along the way. More spirited student tied their t-shirts around their heads and excitedly drew up game plans. Most, however, simply fell into the ambivalent majority, shrugging their shoulders with calculated reserve and dejectedly drawing the shirts over their heads.

With the blow of a whistle, the games began, and soon, frantic freshmen were seen climbing the Alma Mater, skipping down the Low Steps and accosting oblivious upperclassmen for clues. Shouts of “I got it!” rang throughout campus. Off-campus, they were spotted racing up and down Amsterdam, crowding into neighborhood restaurants and overwhelming storeowners.

Meanwhile, other freshmen participated in NSOP-directed games and contests. Some played baseball, others participated in clothing-related relay races, and a few even painted themselves white and blue to demonstrate their extraordinary team spirit.

By the time the event ended, discordant singing of the Backstreet Boys “I Want it That Way” filled the air. Freshmen trudged back to the Low Steps bruised, battered and barefoot.  While most would probably acknowledge that they had lost at the scavenger hunt, they would be horrified to realize that they had also lost their calculated reserve and practiced cynicism. And yes, even a few shoes.