The ban prohibiting members of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority from participating in Troy University Humans Vs. Zombies has been lifted, provided that the sorority members do not wear their Greek letters during the game or publicize it on social media.
“Essentially what went down is, we were contacted by an anonymous ADPi member saying that she had wanted to play, but they were not allowing their members to play because they believed that HvZ promoted violence, and they have a strict policy for non-violence,” said Andrew Goble, a senior music education major from Jay, Florida, and president of HvZ.
According to Goble, after receiving the news about the ban, one of HvZ’s members contacted the national headquarters of ADPi to get information about ADPi’s philosophies and rules. Goble said this was initiated so that Troy’s HvZ leadership could better communicate with ADPi and “try and work something out.”
“Word started to get around and people were acting like it was a big deal, but we just wanted to talk with them — that was it,” he said.
Goble was contacted last week by several different members informing him that ADPi had altered the ruling and was now allowing its members to participate.
“They just couldn’t wear letters while playing,” he said.
Humans vs. Zombies is a giant game of tag where one individual begins as the “original zombie” and proceeds to convert other “human” players by tagging them through any physical contact. The “human” players can defend themselves using socks, foam dart blasters and marshmallow launchers.
The accessories used, though, must not violate HvZ’s safety regulations. According to its national website, the weaponry used in the game cannot look realistic. “Blasters must be brightly colored and have blaze-orange tips,” it says.
Goble explained that the group does equipment tests and bans any accessories that are deemed dangerous or have the potential to hurt other people during play.
One member of the sorority, who wished to stay anonymous, confirmed that the ADPi members were told, “HvZ promotes violence.”
“Greeks participate in other activities that could be considered violent, so I feel like that is not the real reason,” she said.
She said that she feared the unconventionality of HvZ as an organization may have been the reason behind the decision.
“I’m a little disappointed that an organization that I love doesn’t support a game that many of its members enjoy,” she said.
Another ADPi member, who also wished to remain anonymous, said that bringing attention to HvZ created the issue in the first place.
“Most people that knew about it had the common sense to not wear letters while playing or anything like that, because you are always representing your organization,” she said.
She said that Greek life already has a stigma of being exclusive or not accepting things that are “different” and issues like these only perpetuate the stereotype without people knowing the good aspects that Greek life has to offer.
“Maybe they just see it as college kids running around with toy guns and swords and think it sends a wrong message,” she said. “But if that was the case, why are we allowed to use air pellet rifles and bows and arrows for competition during Greek Week?”
“These are just my speculations because they have given us some leeway. We can play, but only if we don’t wear letters, or don’t post about it on social media. If we do post, we can’t have any sorority affiliation on our social media. Not quite a full-blown win, but it’s better than not being able to play at all.”
While both the sources said that they had heard the initial rule was not just limited to ADPi, but was issued as a decree to all the Panhellenic sororities, Erin Salter, a senior nursing major from Orange Beach and president of the Panhellenic Council, said that no such rule had been issued.
“We encourage our women to be involved on campus regardless of what organization or club it may be,” she said.
The Tropolitan contacted ADPi President Jessie Hammett, but she said she was not authorized by the ADPi national headquarters to speak on the sorority’s behalf.
Goble said that this was the first time that HvZ has had issues with other student organizations
“We are also nonviolent,” he said. “Anyone who we notice is strictly trying to be violent or is trying to hurt other people, we have a strict ban against it.”
According to Goble, the only incident they have ever had was with a student having an asthma attack from running during one of the games.