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Author Topic: Utah State University Nerf ban  (Read 17933 times)
ZombieAggies


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« on: December 30, 2011, 12:26:34 AM »

Hey there everyone!

My name is Brice and I'm one of the organizers for HvZ at Utah State University and we've ran into a problem. That's right, our university wants us to ban Nerf. I've done what research I could on the forums regarding how other schools have dealt with this situation and I've found some very helpful resources. However, I felt the need to post on here in case there was something I missed that could help make a difference as we deal with this challenging situation.

But first some history on the game at our school:
The game has been played successfully for the past year and we've held 3 rounds in that time (one per semester). We've been able to use Nerf this entire time and part of that was because we managed to bypass University approval regarding the game. It all started when I brought the game to USU in November of 2010. I am the Events Coordinator for our Residence Hall Association (RHA) and as an RHA sponsored event, we only thought we had to go through Housing to get it approved. Our Director was on board with it and so were the police so we proceeded with the game.

It turns out the University administration was a little surprised when ~700 students showed up to school Monday morning with bandannas on and carrying Nerf blasters. I was not aware of their concern and so after a successful game, we went ahead and planned a Spring game. Again, the University wasn't happy when the students came back to play and so finally, we initiated communication with the administration (the meeting was with the Director of Housing, our Associate VP of Student Services, and a representative from the Police) to avoid them unnecessarily banning the game. Unfortunately the first meeting turned sour when they suggested that we eliminate Nerf blasters from the game. At that point in time, it would have been a huge political blunder on their part to ban them for that game as we were a couple weeks out from the start and we had worked with the local stores to let them know that they should stock up on Nerf products since approximately 700 students will be looking to purchase them.

That brings us to today. We had another meeting with them a couple weeks ago and they have once again suggested that we ban Nerf. With several months before our next game, we can't simply ignore their request and so we have to make a decision regarding this. Their main concerns are with veterans and active shooters. We had an incident our first game with a non-player veteran who turned a corner and was surprised by someone with a Nerf gun and it ended up with the player on the ground and the Nerf blaster broken. We haven't had any gun scares but our state has an open-carry policy for universities (meaning anyone can open-carry a gun onto campus). A valid concern, to be sure, however banning Nerf guns would ruin the game for the players. I've asked and a vast majority of players are saying they would not continue to play the game if Nerf was banned. This game has had such a positive experience on our campus that it has become a sort of tradition (it's hard to ignore something that large, I suppose).

So thoughts? Suggestions? Anything that would help? We'll be meeting with them again in the next couple weeks to hopefully reach a conclusion regarding this so any help before then would be greatly appreciated!
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Masturcief42

lol I'm teh mastur cief!

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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2012, 07:31:36 PM »

this font better be green...
anyways, you said you did some research right? you mind telling us what you researched and found out so we can fill in the gaps? better for us to give you more information then what you already have.
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ZombieAggies


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« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2012, 08:03:24 PM »

Sure! I've looked through the resources provided by ritHvZack on the sticky in this thread. There were some great things there that will definitely help. I plan on using the letter from a veteran that was posted on there as well as a few of the other articles and letters that were provided. Along with that, we've done some research locally to see how a ban on Nerf would impact the players and larger community.

And yes, your font was green. Haha
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Catastrophe
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« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2012, 09:03:10 PM »

So they want to ban nerf blasters (always, always use blaster) but people can just walk onto campus with an actual fire arm, no questions asked? And that makes sense how?


For serious advice, no Nerf blaster (or any other brand) looks like a true fire arm. Obviously ban any realistic-looking weapons; or to a greater extreme, ban all aesthetic modding of blasters (no duct tape, paint, detailing, etc). Would at least be better than an all-out ban on blasters.

Also try and publicize the game as much as possible. Even if people won't be participating, it helps both ends when everyone is at least aware of what's going on and to expect blasters and bandannas coming out in full force.

Always remain professional when dealing with your university's officials and assure them that safety is one of your main concerns as well.

If the university still wants to ban blasters outright, another idea is to have a blaster ban period during peak class hours. Say 8 AM - 2 PM. Of course, that means blasters would only come out for missions and force players to resort to socks to get to/from classes, but it would be better then nothing. Or, ban play from 8 AM - 2 PM, and make missions more important/mandatory.

Good luck on continuing your game.

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Masturcief42

lol I'm teh mastur cief!

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« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2012, 11:56:54 PM »

If desperate, you could ban all nerf blasters that don't have a bright color on them. Thus all red and blue blasters would not be allowed. also that firearm rule may be a small selling point on how people can carry around real firearms, but not fake ones.
 sorry about the pink font, I'm playing around with the stuff to see how it works.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2012, 11:33:02 AM by Sklover » Logged

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Wence


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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2012, 05:17:31 PM »

This is a definite concern for me, as I am going to be returning to USU this fall and don't want the game banned at all. Perhaps in another meeting with the concerned party you can share these articles:

http://www.usustatesman.com/mobile/our-view-our-very-own-zombie-apocalypse-1.2646242
http://hardnewscafe.usu.edu/?p=5967
http://hardnewscafe.usu.edu/?p=3134
http://m.news.hjnews.com/mobile/features/life/article_03cf6ac6-ec56-11df-adfb-001cc4c002e0.html
http://hardnewscafe.usu.edu/?p=4835

I'd bring up how good it is in a social sense - involving people who wouldn't get involved in other activities. Any event that will bring 700+ people together for a game and gives them social interaction is a very good thing. It's good for the community (see the article about Walmart having sold completely out of NERF blasters), and great for the students. It's also a fantastic way to blow off stress (and college is a fantastically stressful environment). Perhaps a petition would be in order? If you can get 500+ names down to have them not ban NERF blasters for HvZ, it might help our cause quite a bit.
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neocreations


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« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2012, 05:15:09 AM »

Just wondering if you had any update on this. I personally won't be able to attend as I work full time and live in salt lake city, but the thought of starting up an HvZ game here in utah at the salt lake community college Taylorsville campus has intrigued me. If you are making headway with your argument, I might be able to use a lot of what you guys are doing up in logan to help start something up here in SLC.
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alvinyork328


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« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2012, 08:35:22 PM »

Im sorry to hear that, and grats on getting that many people to play. At UTSA (my college) we were rejected form using nerf guns since day one  however, we used nerf swords as a substitute combined with socks wrapped in electrical tape to give them an extra heft, and they are working great!
the updated rules are:
for swords: two taps and the zombie is stunned
for Dual-welding: three taps to stun
for axes: two taps if melee, and one if thrown
for daggers: one tap because if you have the balls to get that close, all you need is one.
socks keep their old rule of one to stun.

I know this isnt the same, but it could hold you over till you get this cleared up. and the melee aspect makes the game much more intense because the zombies get a lot closer.

Good luck either way.
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shinigami


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« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2012, 05:14:37 AM »

I really hope this doesn't get banned. I'm planning on attending this summer, and since there's little paintball up there, I was hopping to use this as a cheaper alternative.
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shinigami


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« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2012, 02:54:35 AM »

Do you have an update for us?
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VisforVictory
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« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2012, 01:40:10 PM »

Hey guys,
I helped Brice organize the games at Utah State University, including the one to which he was referring.  Just an update for anyone who wanted to know.  We met with the administration a couple more times, trying to come to a conclusion that worked for everyone.  We finally came to this compromise: No large blasters during the day before 4 p.m. (peak class hours).  This means that before 4 p.m. you could only carry a blaster that would be able to safely fit in your backpack if need be.  Along with that, we ran blaster checks before every mission, asking the players to shoot a mod to make sure it didn't hurt.  And of course, all realistic-looking blasters were banned.  I know this is an old topic, but I just wanted to tell the end of the story for anyone that is facing a similar dilemma.
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Ozymandias
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« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2012, 04:59:15 PM »

My God, OP (or close enough) delivered!

That compromise sounded reasonable.
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Ilonikash420


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« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2012, 07:53:49 PM »

Hey!

So... any new news? If so can you let me know? I'm with the Veteran Association here at USU and we're interested in doing something or helping out or participating or something...

Ashley Scharr
Executive Officer
USU Veteran Association
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shinigami


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« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2012, 03:39:08 PM »

So the rule is we have to fit it into a back pack? sounds simple enough. What about non-realistic paintjobs?
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barbaraH3462


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« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2012, 12:37:09 AM »

I think it is a little overreacting. If it's not against the rules of the school, please check it, then they can't do something like that.
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