The Revival of Senior Assassins

The annual tradition for seniors makes a comeback

Assassins are an age-old tradition at the school. Despite being stopped by the pandemic for the class of 2020, Senior Assassins is back for this year’s graduating class. To enter the Assassins game, players paid five dollars to the Student Government Association (SGA). As a player, the goal of assassins is to eliminate your target by throwing a ball of socks at them, and it must touch their body, not their backpack. Each player is assigned one target to eliminate. Players can keep from being eliminated by performing “safeties,” which change daily. 

“I don’t think my favorite safety has [happened] yet,” senior Lilla Woodard said. “I think my favorite safety will be the holding hands with a freshman day because I already have my freshman picked out [to hold my hand].”

Other safeties included wearing eyeliner while singing Machine Gun Kelly’s “Emo Girl,” and carrying a broom between their legs on “witch day” — practically anything to embarrass the participants.

“[The broom challenge was my favorite safety] because it’s so simple and [there’s] a clear definition of [what to do],” senior Sebastian Cruz said. “There’s no obvious gray area like with the Emo Girl safety.”

Almost two weeks into the game, many players were eliminated. This year, the Assassins Council has allowed players to buy back into the game within 48 hours of their elimination. The cost to buy back in is 15 dollars. 

“I have a good amount of friends who aren’t buying back in [to the assassin’s game]; and I feel like I need to follow in their footsteps and be forthright in just saying ‘Nope. If I’m out, I’m out,’” Cruz said. “There’s no easy way back in because there is no way back in. It’s a pay to win.”

Despite his reluctance to join back in after getting out, Cruz still thinks that buying back in should be an option for other players. 

“I think it is [valid to have a way to pay back in] because it incentivizes play and it adds more [money and] stakes to the pool,” Cruz said. 

However, some players believe buying back in is unfair.

“I think the idea of being able to join back in after being out is flawed in itself and doesn’t incentivize play,” senior Stephen Kouar said. “In fact, it discourages it because it [creates] a natural disadvantage if you do not have the disposable income to join back in.”

The purpose of allowing people to buy back into the game is ultimately to make the pool of money bigger. The pool is won by the last person left standing when the game is over. The more people that pay 15 dollars to buy back in, the more money the winner will eventually receive. All of these details play into seniors’ strategies for winning. 

“My assassins strategy is to be sneaky but it is also to be effective,” Woodard said. “For example, I’ve taken multiple different approaches to the assassinations [I’ve done]. I’ve done two assassinations so far. My first assassination was a sneak assassination. I hid outside his Spanish class and I got him out right when he stepped outside. That was a high point of my life. [For] my second assassination, I took a slightly different approach. I chased him around the parking lot until he gave in. That was also a very good method of assassination. You just have to tailor the assassination to your target.”

Some students have different strategies.

“Ignorance is bliss,” Cruz said. “I’m just not doing the safeties. I automatically focus on other things as it is and I just kind of let the assassins stuff fall in the background unless I need to focus on it. [For example], this morning I was staking out outside of my first period because my target is in my class and I needed to see when she’d be coming. Turns out she has General’s Rest Period, so she didn’t come at all; but, generally, I don’t focus on [assassins] at all. It seems to be [going] well so far.”

Assassins will continue until most players are out, and the winners often divide the money made from the game amongst themselves. Last year, there were three winners. This year’s players are still holding out hope for winning the game as safeties get progressively more difficult with each passing week. 

“Currently, there’s a lot more of a difference between this year and the last couple of years, before COVID happened,” Kouar said. “The major difference is the performative aspect of these safeties. For example, [there’s] been too much singing. The fact that there is such a difference in what people count as singing clearly and singing loudly [is a problem]. It’s so much different than it has been in the past couple years.”


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