Students, Rosenberg play tag for advocacy

By Max Loos

Midterms at Macalester offer plenty of pressures-there is pressure to get papers done on time, memorize formulas for exams, and still manage be prepared for class. Some students, though, have added another pressure: the pressure not to get eliminated.A campus-wide game of Elimination Tag, originally known as Assassin, has had students looking over their shoulders and hiding behind pillars since Saturday, all as part of a fundraising effort to bring Campus Camp Wellstone to Macalester in November.

The way the game works is this: students pay $2 to play, and are assigned the name of a person to find and tag, eliminating them from the game. The “tagee” then gives their tagger the name of the person they have been tracking, until eventually there is single winner. Additional rules are that players cannot be tagged in dorm rooms or classrooms, and the tagee must be surprised by the tag.

Organizer Cailin Rogers ’13 said the game has been fun to watch so far. It started with 253 people, but by Monday the number of active players was down to roughly 170, and as of Wednesday night there were 108 players left.

“I am really impressed with some of these Macalester students,” Rogers said. Some students have already gone through more than five tagees.”

The game is part of a fundraising effort on the part of multiple student orgs, including MPIRG, MacDems and Mac GOP, to bring Campus Camp Wellstone to Mac in November.

Camp Wellstone is a non-partisan grassroots-advocacy training seminar. Its goal is to teach college students how to become effective political organizers and advocates at the grassroots level, no matter what their politics or issues might be.

“Everyone I know in the real world of politics has been through Campus Camp Wellstone at some point,” Rogers said.

Overall, it will cost $4,500 to bring the event to campus. The game is expected to raise close to $500, and the rest of the cost will hopefully be covered by money from several departments, the Dean’s Fund and the Political Action Grant.

Additionally, Macalester President Brian Rosenberg has agreed to cover whatever funds cannot be raised, so that the event will definitely be able to happen.

Rosenberg is also one of the active players in Elimination Tag.

“I’m at a major disadvantage, because I’m easy to find compared to most people,” Rosenberg said. Just as students cannot be tagged in dorm rooms or classrooms, Rosenberg is off-limits when he is in his office.

Being the president of Macalester does afford some advantages, though.

“I’ve got some resources,” Rosenberg said. “I figure, once I get the student’s name, I can get a picture, and a class schedule.

“So we’ll see how long I last, but there’s gonna be some student who finds me waiting outside a class,” he said.

There has been some controversy in the naming of the game. It was originally called “Macalester Assassin,” but was changed to “Macalester Elimination Tag” at the request of Directory of Security Terry Gorman, who felt it might be insensitive to students who have experienced political violence.

“It just has a bad tone to it. We assassinate people?” Gorman said. “I think we’re better than that. I know we’re better than that.”

Rogers was fine with the name change.

“The game is in the interest of fun,” she said.