Spy vs. Spy Uses Social-Distancing as an Advantage

A record-breaking 300 people signed up for Student Events and Activities’ (SEA) Spy vs. Spy event this fall. With sign-ups running the week before the five-day sequence of seeking out a target and spraying them with a water blaster, students were excited to engage in this JBU tradition.

Spy vs. Spy involves being given a target, finding information to help locate and spray that target, then taking the fallen spy’s target and moving on to blast them. The caveat, however, is targets cannot be blasted in class or in their residence halls, and spies have no way of knowing who their target may be before being assigned them on the Monday of event week. Students actively work to learn schedules, defining features and even the friends of their targets to be able to engage them in aquatic warfare.

As the week progressed, a majority of students were taken out by their fellow players, leading up to the finale, with approximately 14 students competing for nearly 100 dollars in gift cards to businesses and venues in Siloam Springs. Armed with large water bazookas, umbrella shields and the space to run that the Quad provides, students ran about spraying each other until the winner, senior Woody Woodring, remained.

Woodring later kindly shared some of his winnings with those that he narrowly defeated. Meredith Duffield, communications director for SEA, explained that Woody’s victory was so incredible that “some are calling him the next James Bond.”

SEA worked diligently to produce this year’s event, despite the COVID-19 precautions. Ashley Nikkel, student director of SEA, explained some of the uniqueness of this year’s event. “I think the added challenge of the game being earlier in the year as well as everyone wearing masks made the game even more thrilling,” Nikkel said. “It’s always fun to see how students dress and act differently to try and stay hidden throughout the week.”

Overall, this year’s Spy vs. Spy was  considered a success by both students and faculty, and the event team looks forward to next year.