Adrenaline will be pumping and hearts will race as students and members of the community try to escape from this year’s Student Activities Council Escape Rooms.
Escape Rooms involve a series of games for groups who must work together to solve puzzles and find clues in order to find the key that will lead to their escape in 45 minutes or less.
The event has been in the making for about a month and a half.
Celia Leatherwood, senior special education major, said that since SAC did not host a Homecoming concert this year, they have had the funds to pilot a couple new events.
“After hearing feedback and event pitches from each of our SAC members, the rest of Executive Council and I decided that Escape Rooms would be our new event for this semester,” Leatherwood said. “We helped cast the vision, timeline and budget for this event and selected a committee of five SAC members (2 chairs and 3 members) to pull together the details and run the events.”
Brady Chandler, sophomore engineering major and event chair, said that SAC members signed up for which committee they wanted to on and the events they wanted to chair.
The chairs are Bethany Kindt, Jared Dauenhauer, and Chandler. The other members of the committee are Graham Gardner, Mary Byars, and Andrea Bollard. Chandler said that planning the event was fun to plan because the team had range to do whatever they wanted with the event.
“It was really fun to plan,” Chandler said. “We had a lot of freedom because it had never been done before so we pretty much got to do whatever we wanted and started from scratch.”
The team has studied Escape Rooms and put in many hours to craft four rooms to challenge students.
SAC members will all be involved in briefing people on the rules before they enter and resetting the rooms after each use.
“We each had the opportunity to test the rooms last Thursday night, and I was incredibly impressed by what I experienced,” Leatherwood said. “It basically got me one step closer to fulfilling my childhood dream of being Nancy Drew and solving mysteries.”
To sign up for a room, click on the link for the room you would like to play in and select a time slot by clicking the “book this room” button. From there, you will be prompted to pay online for yourself and your group if you are going with friends.
Leatherwood said that a few dozen people have already signed up, and the team is expecting momentum to grow tremendously once people begin trying the rooms.
“This is a new and growing trend in big cities, so we have found that most Union students are unfamiliar with the premise of Escape Rooms,” Leatherwood said. “However, I think they will be hooked as soon as people see what it’s all about and try to solve them.”
Union, SAC and Regional Inter-Faith Association collaborated to create this event to raise funds for RIFA’s Snack Backpack Ministry, which was developed to provide easy, nutritious food items for children who are at risk of going hungry on the weekends.
All funds raised will go to RIFA. Leatherwood said that by escaping the room, participants will be helping a child escape hunger through the ministry.
Jared Dauenhauer, assistant director of student leadership and engagement, began volunteering for RIFA when he first moved to Jackson and has been able to facilitate this partnership with them.
Chandler believes that this events will give Union and RIFA a stronger relationship.
“I really love the opportunity that we have by partnering with them and I am really glad that that is where all of the money is going,” Chandler said.
Admission to the Escape Rooms adventures is $5 per person per room. Groups are may have four to six players. There is no deadline to sign up.
If the group escapes from the room in 45 minutes or less, SAC will match your ticket price and $10 will be given to RIFA. SAC will also be keeping leaderboards for each room and the group with the fastest times for each room will receive a prize at the end of the week.
Escape Rooms are located on campus in Pollard Dormitory in the Heritage Complex.
The games will take place Nov. 13-20 and will start at 4:30 p.m. every day except Saturday, the 15th, which will start at noon.