Month: March 2018


Spotlight of the Month

School: Truman State University Region: MACURH
Nominee: Up to Us Nominator: Erin Darr

On-Campus Population: 2600 Chapter Size: 26

Please explain the outstanding contributions of the nominee during the month of nomination

While the month of March was shortened with spring break, the Truman State University Up to Us team was hard at work planning a campus-wide event to foster community on campus, and make students aware of the state of the national debt. Up to Us is a student led initiative that takes place on campuses throughout the United States to educate students about economic concerns, and uses a national pledge to allow students to voice concerns about the nation’s debt. On the evening of March 19-20, escape room challenges were created on Truman’s campus with free admission and free snacks for students. Upon arrival to the ‘Can You E$cape’ challenge, attendees were informed of the storyline of the escape room that the economy had just collapsed and they were locked within the Federal Reserve needing to solve a series of clues to get out of the government lockdown.

In preparation for this event, a Facebook Event was used for students to sign up on campus and learn more about the Up to Us initiative. Physical advertisements were created prior to the event and hung in residence halls and academic buildings. In the residence halls, large posters with fake money were hung in locations with high foot-traffic. Additionally, Up to Us utilized the campus radio service to advertise, hoping to gain interest of students travelling on spring break.

Together, Up to Us team members created the clues for the escape room based upon resources from the Up to Us website. Flyers and an article were incorporated into the escape room puzzles. Participants had to read this materials and then decipher the clues from the information provided to eventually escape the room. Also, they created a script that was used to set the scene of the escape room. In this script, fun facts were included about the national debt, such as it’s impact on the average family’s income in 2047.

Six rooms on campus were prepared and each one given to a staff member to run throughout the night. Groups were given the storyline in an informative walk-through of the ‘Federal Reserve’ tour. In going to the room, attendees were told that they were in the year 2047, and asked questions about the past such as the debt amount of the United States in 2018. Upon entering the rooms, an alarm went off and teams were informed that they were "locked” in.

On the walls, Up to Us flyers were placed for teams to read through with clues leading them to a key hidden under the computer keyboard to unlock a box with a digit of the escape code. They also had to find a blacklight from underlined words in a printed article about the national debt to read a lock passcode. To escape the room and return to the year 2018, members had to give one last three digit code to the room staff, 269, relating to the $269 billion the United States spends alone on national debt interest. In conclusion, attendees enjoyed being challenged with friends and learning about the economy through the process in a fun and educational way.

What is most impressive is that the team of ten members were able to pull off a large-scale event catering to 68 Truman State University students who arrived over the two nights. The effort put in by the Up to Us team highlights their drive for campus advocacy and teamwork. Without every member bought in to the project, the team would have been unable to create the positive escape room experience for students during the month of March.

Word Count: 599

Date of entry into database: 2018-04-06 01:08:12

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