Otus scaverger hunt
Donovan Wilson – Reporter
Donovann Wilson — The Residence Hall Association, or RHA, often puts on events to engage with the students on campus and their most recent one was an owl-themed scavenger hunt.
“We had already thought of it, the board planned all of our events ahead of time,” said Natalie Sinclair, a member of RHA and one of the organizers of the Find Otus event.
RHA puts together a myriad of different events over each semester to keep students involved on campus. This year, everything was determined up front and then divided up amongst the different board members. Natalie Sinclair and Suhanee Patel decided to take up the Find Otis event and organize it and run the whole festivities.
Sinclair said, “We hid mini Otus’s all over the campus”.
“Find Otus” was a scavenger hunting event where mini versions of Otus were hidden around the campus. Once students found an Otus, there were instructions on how to make RHA aware that you had won. Then, you would redeem your Otus for a prize of much higher value, which ranged from air pods to bookstore apparel to CD’s and a mixed bag of other things students enjoy.
“It’s my favorite event of the semester and they did it last semester with the treasure hunt,” said Nicole Thomas, one of the winners of the event.
RHA usually hosts a scavenger hunt each semester featuring a different theme. The one Sinclair specifically recalls was a literal treasure hunt consisting of treasure chests hid around campus but the idea and execution was similar to Find Otus. Sinclair remembers a much more unique scavenger hunting event that utilized an app and students had to take photos in specific locations and earn points and the winners were determined through a first through third placement rather than the first person to find something specific.
Thomas said, “I won AirPods Pros and Tracy won a 50 dollar gift card to amazon”.
The prizes were won, as mentioned before, by finding one of the many mini otuses hidden around campus. The big point behind making the specific item you needed to find to be Otus was to help tie the scavenger hunting events more to the university itself than it has been in the past and specifically with just the plain old treasure chests, according to Sinclair.
“The owls were hid a little too broadly and hints should have been more specific,” said Tracy Nham, one of the winners of Find Otus.
The owls were hidden throughout parts of the campus. The hints were, according to Nham only pertaining to the building or area on campus in which the owl would be in and around. Nham would have liked the hints to be a little more precise as that would have preserved the challenge, but made it a little more accessible as some of the owls were supposedly very hard to find.
Nham said, “How they hid them was clever but the prize distribution was weird as the hardest to find owls weren’t the biggest prizes”.
As mentioned before, the prizes that were distributed to the winners ranged from as small as apparel from the university’s book store to as large as AirPods Pros and everything in between, such as 50 dollar Amazon gift cards. Nham’s biggest issue was that there seemed to be owls specifically made harder to find than others but the difficulty level did not dictate the yield of the size of the prize. However, Nham and Thomas both specifically said they loved the prize selection and the event as a whole.
Thomas said, “We saw it on the Instagram post and we just happened to wake up early and we were one of the first people”.
Photo credit: Roma Rositani