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Simon Says, ‘Bark like a dog’

On Aug.18, the incoming freshmen class gathered at the BankUnited Center in an attempt to break the world record for the largest game played of Simon Says.

Although students turned out in droves-1,100 to be exact-they were short of their goal. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the number to beat was 1,169, set in Glasgow, Scotland in 2006.

The plan to break a record was the brainchild of Sarah Baird, the editor in chief of the Ibis yearbook.

“My dad would always get me the Guinness Book of World Records for Christmas, and every year I would look through and think about what record I could break,” Baird said.

“I had been an Orientation Assistant for two years and when I saw the Simon Says record I thought it would be great for orientation.”

According to Baird, the process of going through Guinness involved many strict requirements in order for the record-breaking process to be legitimate, including having both a local media outlet and a government official present.

The game was put on by the Ibis yearbook and the Department of Orientation and Off-Campus Student Services as a way to create class identity, said Lexi Baldisseri, Assistant Director of Orientation and Off-Campus Student Services.

As an incentive for the students, American Airlines donated two round trip tickets to anywhere in the continental United States or the Caribbean for the winner.

“A lot of my group is really excited because they want to win the prize,” said Orientation Fellow Tyler Wilcheck, sophomore.

In order to thoroughly judge the students, they were organized by their orientation groups and judged by their OFs.
“I feel like I’m back at sleep-away camp,” freshman Mark Sherwin said.

The game began around 9:30 p.m., when inspirational speaker Frank Kitchen took the stage as the game’s official “Simon”.

After a series of commands, making the students do everything from the Macarena to barking like a dog to smelling their armpits, the time was 9:51 pm and only 30 students were left.

The game ended about six minutes later when “Simon” told the final two students to play “rock, paper, scissors” to determine the winner.

The prize went to Alex Fleisher, a freshman from Philadelphia.

“I called it before the game even started,” Fleisher said. “I just knew I’d win.”

Although Fleisher was unsure of where he would go, he also had a bigger issue to worry about.

“I told eight girls I’d take them with me, so that might be a problem.”

Although the record wasn’t broken, everyone involved seemed to agree the game was still a success.

“I’m extremely impressed with the turnout, level of participation and excitement of the students,” said Baldisseri.

Veronica Sepe may be contacted at v.sepe@umiami.edu.

August 27, 2007

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.