Messages coded in architecture and a web of clues to decipher. No, not a new Dan Brown novel — these are the signs of a new Yale-based scavenger hunt that will take place in April.
On April 7 at 1 p.m., the University will become the playing field for a campuswide event, open to all students, called “The Hunt.” The activity — co-sponsored by the Yale Society for the Exploration of Campus Secrets, Yale UNICEF, Yale Hillel and the Guild of Carillonneurs — is intended to let students explore Yale’s campus, architecture and past while simultaneously raising funds and awareness for Amman Imman, a charitable organization started by Yale alum Ariane Kirtley ’01 EPH ’04.
In the Hunt, teams of eight students will be given a series of clues that will lead them around Yale’s campus. While there will be several prizes for the most successful teams, the first team to complete the task will receive a few hundred dollars in gift certificates to local businesses.
Amanda Rubin ’09, a member of Yale Hillel who created The Hunt along with twin brothers Rosh Sethi ’09 and Roshan Sethi ’09, described the event as a search with clues “based on Yale lore that is embedded in its architecture — it’s ‘Da Vinci Code’ inspired.”
Rubin and Roshan Sethi, a member of UNICEF, said the secrets they uncovered about Yale were impressive and surprising.
“Students come to Yale, not just because it’s a great school, but because of its inspiring history,” Rubin said. “But over the semesters, you get fazed. There is so much here that students don’t know about.”
While The Hunt will be a social activity for students at Yale, it is also intended to raise social awareness for Amman Imman. The group raises money to build wells in remote regions of the African nation Niger, which is dry for nine months of the year.
Roshan Sethi said while the social awareness component of the event is still being determined, the event will include a speaker from Amman Imman to educate the participants about the group’s work.
“We want people to know the cause of the event,” Roshan Sethi said.
While the publicity campaign for the event has not begun, students said they are intrigued by the scavenger hunt and its focus on Yale’s secrets.
“This is an interesting way to learn more about Yale without devoting a lot of time to a group, so that people with a casual interest in Yale’s history can do something fun to indulge their curiosity,” Bradley Schecter ’10 said.
Lindsay Haines ’10 said she believes the promise of discovering secrets of Yale will draw many students.
“It’s not a regular old scavenger hunt, but it’s a Yale scavenger hunt,” she said.
Haines said the event might have generated more student interest had it been held earlier in the year, when students — especially freshmen — might have been less jaded about Yale’s campus and history.
Students can either register online for the event as a group of eight, or they can sign up individually to be placed in a team. Participation costs $5 per person and all proceeds will be donated to Amman Imman.