Residence Life spooks campus with Haunted Dungeon
Start running, because the zombie apocalypse is coming to campus this weekend.
The 20th annual Haunted Dungeon is Thursday through Saturday and organizers said they expect it to be bigger and better this year.
In previous years, the event was run solely by Yuma Residence Hall, but this year organizers have brought in some backup in the form of Gila and Maricopa Residence Halls.
The dungeon will span across the three residence halls, starting in the basement of Gila. Participants will trek through the Gila basement, take a harrowing golf cart ride through the courtyard of Maricopa and end up in the Yuma dungeon.
Last year the event brought in more than 900 students and Tucson residents, and this year the organizers’ goal is to have more than 1,200, said Alex Dubois, community director for residential honors experience. Steve Meyers, a management information systems junior and a volunteer for the event, said he has faith that the Haunted Dungeon will reach its goal.
“I’ve got confidence in the staff,” Meyers said. “I feel like it’s going to be a great success, and hopefully double the results from previous years.”
As in previous years, the proceeds of the event will be donated to the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. Admission is free, but there is a suggested donation of a can of food or money to support the Food Bank. This year, however, organizers also added another charity to support: the UA Campus Pantry, an emergency food pantry for faculty, staff and students.
“In the spirit of collaboration, we want to make sure we’re supporting our campus initiatives as well,” Dubois said.
Collaboration is a big focus for the Haunted Dungeon this year. In addition to working with Gila and Maricopa, Yuma is also getting help from the Engineering Zone and the Honors College.
To help with the collaboration theme, Árbol de la Vida Residence Hall is getting its residents together to dress up like zombies and walk to the dungeon on Friday night.
“I love that,” Dubois said. “It definitely fits into the spirit of collaboration we’re trying to build this year.”
The event kicks off at 7:30 p.m., giving visitors a chance to grab some food catered by the Student Union Memorial Center and check out the games and attractions on the lawn before the dungeon opens at 8 p.m. Lawn attractions include dart games, zombie beanbag toss, musical chairs and a Halloween-themed movie. Visitors playing the games have the chance to be entered in a raffle for items such as a fast pass to the front of the line.
The dungeon has been under construction since the first week of September, when the zombie theme was chosen.
Savannah Gaston, a mechanical engineering freshman and volunteer, said the setup has taken a long time, but hasn’t been too much of a hassle.
“It’s been a lot of team work, and there’s a lot of people helping out,” Gaston said.
Gaston will also be working as a tour guide for the event and said all the work put into the event will pay off.
“Trust me, it’s going to be scary as all hell,” Gaston said. “It’s going to be great.”
- Follow Jazmine Foster-Hall @Jazz_Foster