College Survival


By Jordan Unger


YSUrvivor, the reality showed-inspired organization on campus, began its second semester of challenges at Youngstown State last week.


YSUrvivor was founded by junior Sarah Davis last fall. Sarah Davis said that it is a club where the members replicate competitions inspired by the reality show, “Survivor.”


Sarah Davis said much like the television show, club members are divided into tribes at the beginning of the semester. These tribes compete against each other in weekly challenges, which she said she comes up with on her own.


“A lot of them are based off of challenges on the show but scaled down so we can do them here,” Sarah Davis said. “There’s been lots of brainstorming.”


At the end of each challenge, the losing team votes off one member of the tribe. Sarah Davis said this continues for several weeks until the last few players remain.


“The tribes merge, and then they do individual challenges where only the winner of the challenge is safe,” Sarah Davis said. “Then the entire tribe can vote anyone out. This eventually determines the winner of the semester.”


Thirteen students participated this semester, down from the 18 participants last semester. Sarah Davis said that many of the players are returning participants from last semester, and that YSUrvivor received positive reception in its first run.


Rachel Davis, the treasurer of YSUrvivor and a participant in the game, said that she joined the club last semester because she enjoys “Survivor” and was curious of how it would be incorporated on campus.


“It is so exciting and fun to watch, so I imagined it would be fun to participate in an organization that replicates the show,” Rachel Davis said.


The team meets Tuesday and Thursday evenings to participate in the challenges, which either test the physical or mental capabilities of the tribes.


Rachel Davis said that the club helps her ability to work on a team and teaches her how to think critically in real-life situations.


Immunity idols are hidden across the campus for the YSUrvivor students to locate. Sarah Davis hand-makes the idols out of cardboard and hides them, leaving clues for the participants to solve. The student who finds the idol can present it at the tribal council elimination ceremony to be immune from elimination that night.


Sarah Davis said the largest challenge when forming the club was to find people who wanted to participate. Sarah Davis said she was unsure of how students who have never watched “Survivor” would react to the activities.


“I was nervous that people who have never seen the show wouldn’t really know what to do, but a lot of people who played last semester didn’t watch ‘Survivor,’ and they had a great time. You catch on really fast,” Sarah Davis said.


Carrie Anderson, assistant director of Student Activities at YSU, said that it is significant for students to take part in student organizations.


“The biggest thing is that it gives them the opportunity for a leadership role beyond the classroom,” Anderson said.