The Social Experiment: Looking Back, Looking Forward

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Nancy and Ronald Reagan cutting cake!

Bwog caught up with the winners of The Social Experiment, Sharon Wu and Abril Dozal, to find out how they won, what they plan to do with their winnings, and whether or not they will buy their friends cake.

What are you going to do with the money?

Sharon: I’m using it to pay for my sorority dues.

Abril: I’m paying for my plane ticket home.

We’re also buying a cake for the friends that helped us win.

What was your strategy for winning?

We asked all of our friends to play even if they weren’t actually interested, just so that they could help us out. We also asked anyone we could via facebook and text. Because we were working together, we were able to reach more people than we would have if we had worked alone.

What did your friends think about you playing?

Our friends were pretty supportive. We’re getting them a cake to show our gratitude.

Do you think anything has changed about the way people interact with each other?

By the end of the game, not many people were playing, so we made better use of our existing contacts than engaging with strangers. Maybe if more people had played and really understood the game, there would have been more campus interaction.

Do you like talking to people in elevators?

Yes! In Nussbaum (where we live), people are really friendly, so it isn’t awkward to start a conversation in the elevator.

What’s your favorite fall-back small talk conversation?

Lately we’ve been obsessed with Harry Potter, so that’s been popping up in every conversation.

Do you think Columbia’s reputation as an anti-social school is unfair?

We’ve always felt like people here are really friendly, but we understand why we might have a reputation for being anti-social. We might not have the same campus cohesiveness as some of the schools in rural areas do, but we definitely are social people. We don’t think you can actually enjoy living in the city if you’re anti-social. We think that because of this reputation, the media really distorted the purpose of the game and put it in a negative light. We took it as a fun way to distract ourselves from the stress of classes, not as a necessary means of facilitating friendships. We do hope that the game continues in years to come… we promise not to win again!

Image via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. Oh noes!

    How will Ian Kwok and Co. buy themselves a foosball table now?!

  2. so  

    can someone from CUCR or something please get to writing a column about socialism & public goods, using this campus game as an example? i mean, the socialist experiment came in 3rd place despite having how many people in their fb group?

  3. In Defense of the Experiment  

    I entered the elevator on the first floor of EC a sad SEAS boy with no more faith in love. A vision of loveliness followed after me, and I tried to catch her eye. Failure.

    However, someone burst in right before the doors closed, like Indiana Jones reaching back to save the hat that is my heart from the Temple of Romantic Doom that was that elevator. Or should I say, a group of someones. Looking eagerly to myself and to the beautiful woman so cold to my advances, they said the dreaded word.


    The woman and I locked eyes. I could sense the same thought building in her that was building in me.

    "Alright," we said together.

    "Remember, the password isn't necessarily one word," she said seductively.

    Twenty minutes and four round trips of the building later, the gaggle of social experimenters got off the elevator, asking amongst themselves: "So was that last part 'ohgodohgodohgodYESYESYES'?" and "Who called whom a dirty little slut?"

    (The answers were: 1) no, it was 'ohgodohgodHARDERHARDER' and 2) She called me a dirty little slut and I liked it. A lot.)

    As I lie in a bed covered with flower petals next to Carmencita, as she tells me her name is, eating grapes and cold quail after an afternoon of vigorous lovemaking, I have to say that the social experiment was a complete success. Not for the people who participated, of course, but for me.

  4. Sorority Dues

    Seriously??? Gahhh I really wish the Socialist Experimenters won now :(

  5. Anonymous  

    That Sharon Wu chick is smoking. I'd give her my password.

  6. im pretty  

    sure they just knew the hackers and thats how they won - extremely dissapointing.

  7. GIRLLLL  


    is this a big enough accomplishment to be tapped for sachems?

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