Starting in April, the class of 2021 will be participating in Senior Assassin, keeping this annual tradition going with COVID-19 safety precautions in mind. While it may look different this year due to the pandemic, students are still looking forward to keeping this tradition alive, after over a year of remote learning and a shared feeling of a lack of class unity.
Assassin is a game in which participants work in groups of two to eliminate other pairs by squirting them with water guns, until one team remains and is crowned the winner. Each team will have a week to eliminate their target. If teams are able to eliminate their target by the end of the week, they then will take on the target that the eliminated team was assigned.
“At the end of the game there is a winner, or a team of winners, and they will receive the money that was used to enter the game,” explained this year’s coordinator Eva Guerrette (‘21). Guerrette’s responsibilities as coordinator will include randomly assigning each group’s target, as well as recording all eliminations and giving teams their next target. Participating seniors will be randomly assigned their targets on April 4th and the game officially begins on April 5th at midnight. Assassin will last until one team remains, which could be as short as three weeks, and could theoretically go for up to six or seven weeks.
While Assassin was planned by the senior student government, this activity is not sanctioned by the school and was put together entirely by the students, where administration will only get involved if class time is disrupted by the game, which would go against the rules of the game.
“The class government felt that it was important to plan Assassin this year because we know that many of the class, including ourselves, have felt discouraged with how different this year has been,” said student senate member Melanie Banafato (‘21). “Unfortunately, the class of 2021 has been unable to host so many of the events that usually make senior year so special and different from the rest of our high school experiences, so the government has definitely been trying to make an effort to have as many of the events as possible, even if they have to be modified because of COVID.”
While the money going to the winning team may act as an incentive for students to participate, many seniors are most looking forward to the game itself. “Obviously the money is a cool prize, but I think the actual game is going to make it really fun. Not knowing who or when someone is going to try to attack you should make things interesting, and the whole secrecy element just adds to the fun of the game,” said John Kell (‘21).
Other students are most looking forward to coming together as a class for one of the first times since last year. “It makes us feel more together as a class. I feel like a lot of the issues right now, with COVID especially, is that a lot of people feel alone,” said Calla Tucker (‘21). “It’s very easy to just let the days go by, because you’re just in your room doing the same thing every day, so Assassin acts as a nice way to have some change in the everyday routine, which I think is good because you can get so stuck in this and become less motivated.”
Guerrette also mentioned the lack of class unity and is hoping Assassin will help this year feel a bit more normal. “I think it’s really important because we deserve that, we’ve worked really hard for the past four years, and it’s just a rite of passage. I think it’s really important that there is effort put into making sure that those students are getting what would have been their normal senior year as much as we can.”
Luckily, Assassin is already fairly easy to play six feet apart, outside, and masked. “Before, you just couldn’t touch your target, so now just more distance between people,” explained Guerrette.
Even if some things look a bit different this year, seniors are still finding traditions like these important to their high school experience. After missing out on a spirit week in the fall, the hypnotist show, and Mr. Bobcat this year, those involved with planning are hoping this will be a kick starter for raising spirits in other seniors. “I kind of had accepted we just wouldn’t have anything, so the fact that we have something that we have that is normal is really special,” said Tucker.
Kell agreed, saying, “I think activities like this are important because it gives this year more of a real senior year feel. I think it’s something a lot of people look forward to and it’s nice that events like these can happen.”
If you’re a participating senior, make sure to get your water guns ready by April 5th and look out for any updates on the class Instagram page (@orhs.classof21).
Fortunately, Assassin is just the start of many more activities for seniors to come this spring. Guerrette said, “to the senior class, we are definitely trying and look forward to what’s coming because there’s a lot coming. I know that we have missed everything so far, but don’t fear because we are working really hard to plan a lot of activities, whether it’s senior week, a senior prom, or graduation.”
Artwork by Dora Bowden