Policy zombies at University of Colorado

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The transformation is complete in Boulder, Colo. The University of Colorado has turned its entire student body into zombies. And not the fun kind that the game Humans vs. Zombies employs.

Last week university officials enforced a policy banning plastic, multi-colored Nerf guns on campus after a game of Humans vs. Zombies erupted Dec. 1. The game is a glorified version of Nerf tag that can last for days.

Let me make this clear, the zombies in this game don’t actually try to bite people and most definitely have never been known to eat brains since the games inception in 2005 at Goucher College in Towson, Md.  In fact, popular zombie lore has little to do with this game.

Human tags zombie with a Nerf ball to stun it useless for 15 minutes.  Zombie shoots human to transform it into a zombie teammate.  Zombies that don’t shoot a human within 48 hours, “starve.”  Game ends when all players are zombies or all zombies have starved.  

This is elementary fun and a physical release for stressed-out college students akin to cabin fever after days of freezing snowy weather in Boulder.  

The enforced ban comes during the same week neighboring Colorado State University officials voted to ban concealed weapons on campus. While CSU’s three campus presidents decide how to detail the policy and make the campuses less safe, CU emerges nationally as a joke – the school positioned so far left it teeters on a diving board sloping into extremist obscurity.

In sanctifying CU’s ban on Nerf guns, CU spokesman Bronson Hilliard referenced the dangers of websites that advocate painting Nerf guns black to replicate the real thing. Hilliard is assuming the worst and disrespecting students at the same time. Although their brains may be scrambled by everything but zombies – classes, finals preparation, beer and marijuana – CU students are smart enough to know the hysteria a black painted gun may cause.

CU should learn from Bowling Green State University.

Bowling Green lifted a ban on Nerf guns after laying down guidelines with Humans vs. Zombies players. The rules agreed upon by both parties included keeping the game outside of school buildings and Nerf guns being referred to as Nerf “blasters.”

But instead of negotiating with its students, CU has reminded students that having a Nerf gun on campus can result in suspension, expulsion or even arrest.

You’d think the costs of going to college could buy busy students some amusing release or even a little respect from university officials. Policy zombies have won this battle in Colorado.

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Anthony Bowe

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