Welcome to the one week in which LeTourneau University students can carry arms on campus. Just watch out—things sometimes get violent. Many students take this week as an opportunity to assassinate multiple targets. And of course along with this there are occasional pitched battles when an intended victim starts to fire back. So watching your back is the order of the week.
The gun-carrying is not just limited to guys. Plenty of ladies are getting into the fight, too. Fortunately no attacks inside buildings have effect outside of Thursday evening. If you are an innocent bystander (or even not so innocent), it is usually a good idea to stay inside a building. If people start shooting you inside, chances are they are homicidal maniacs who would take a shot any time they would be able to get away with it.
Sounds dangerous, right? Actually, the only guns allowed during Gotcha Week are NERF™ guns. That’s right: Gotcha Week is the week for LeTourneau NERF™ assassins to show their true skills. If you sign up, you are given a target (who is also signed up for the game) on Monday. Once you hit your target, your target’s target becomes your new target. Watch out, though—if your target gets wind of your pursuit, they have the opportunity to neutralize you for half a day. Also, if you have a target, you are sure to be someone else’s target at the same time. Keep a hand on your gun at all times, and remember that a backpack hit counts whenever you are wearing your backpack outside!
Gotcha Week is a cherished tradition of LeTourneau University, going farther back in campus history than Corey Ross does! This year, the reigning champion is Andrew Leon from Davis 1 Honors, though each floor has its own Master of the NERF™ Gun. Some are seasoned Gotcha Weekers, but some are freshmen with strategies of their own. These plots range from the use of one-shot blowguns for stealth attacks to heavily modified sub-machine guns that require the target to have Jedi-speed reflexes to escape successfully. Not to mention sneaking onto other floors during visiting hours on Thursday evening, or masking who your actual target is, or going on killing sprees that take out everyone in the general vicinity in the hopes that at least one victim is your target or assassin.
This year saw a lot of creativity in schemes, gun modifications, and shield use. One participant is known for making and using a cardboard Captain America shield, while another tried to use his backpack as a shield by carrying it rather than wearing it. Compared to previous years’ Weeks, fewer students simply ran between buildings to avoid being targeted. Instead, most students evidenced more of a spirit of adventure, taking the challenge of walking between buildings and risking a showdown with their assassins. Of course, this led to several interesting meetings, as targets and assassins fired nearly simultaneously and had to turn to witnesses to determine who was shot first. Given the differences from previous Weeks seen this year, it will be interesting to see how next year’s Gotcha Week goes.
Prepare your weapons for next September!
Written by T.C. Buscher. Photos by Curtis Wise and Brittany Harden.