WUFC? WU F No.
When I got to Washington University, I was excited, as I think most others were. I felt a certain school spirit that I had hoped I would feel when I arrived here. Every freshman who showed up on move-in day had worked pretty hard to move to Missouri.
After a great Convocation night of school spirit, speeches and Ted Drewes Frozen Custard, I felt ready to get college started. That is, until night number two rolled around, along with the infamous—or perhaps not-so-infamous—WashU Ultimate Floor Challenge, otherwise known as WUFC.
WUFC is a freshman class competition where each dorm floor competes against the others. Each student on a floor has the ability to sign up beforehand for what they call “minute to win it” games. All of the games are fairly ridiculous, like keeping a feather in the air with just your breath for a minute, or getting the most “steps” on a pedometer by shaking it with your hand. Every freshman sits with their floor in the gymnasium bleachers to watch the competitions as they happen. It’s a rowdy environment, similar to what you may find at a summer camp color war, or a big time rivalry football game.
If what I just described sounds fun to you, you’re sort of right. It should be fun—it should be a great night. But in too many different ways, WUFC falls short of actual fun. Let’s go over some of its major flaws.
1. It’s too long
If I’m not mistaken, WUFC is actually still going on right now. The thing drags on and on. Each game is played twice, and the transitions between each are less than smooth. The games also don’t start until long after each team has found its seats, giving us much longer to feel bad about how s— our chants are.
2. No one understands how it works
I still cannot find one person who can explain to me how the points system works. I competed in an actual event, and when I was done, I got a card that said I won 20 points. To this day, I have no idea whether that means. I…won? Lost? Somewhere in between?
3. No one can tell what’s going on
It is dark, there are lots of bright spotlights shining everywhere and it’s an overall cool environment to be in. But the upper deck is quite far from the floor, and I couldn’t even tell where my team was, let alone who was winning, or even who had already won.
4. No one can tell who we’re competing against
Although each floor competes individually, the entire Residential College is expected to work together while chanting. Just, what? Battling against another floor one minute then having to collaborate on cheers the next just doesn’t work.
5. There is no clear winner
I will admit, some teams were way more into the competition than mine. With three competitions left, my floor had basically cleared the premises. But when I left, I had no idea whether my team was doing well or if we were in last place. There is no leaderboard and no announced winner after each round—I didn’t even know if I won my own competition!
6. We are expected to keep doing our horrible chants for hours
The trouble started the moment we were told we had chants to learn. I am more down for a good chant than the next kid; I love that crap. The next thing I heard was my Resident Adviser say, “We probably have the worst chants of all the Residential Colleges, but we own it.” It does not take a lot of creativity to come up with a new and interesting chant. My ResCollege’s main chant was to sing the chorus of the song “Shots” but replace the title word with “Kings.” On a creativity scale of 0 to 10, this falls somewhere below 1. What made it worse is that at least three other ResColleges used the same exact chant. Most kids at WUFC are not participating in the events. And even those who do participate still spend the majority of their time in the bleachers. What are we expected to do in the bleachers? You guessed it! More of our awful and unoriginal chants. There is a direct correlation between how good a ResCollege’s chants are, and how enthusiastic its team is. Brookings, we weren’t so into it.
7. The games themselves are not exciting
I am proud to say that I was arm-deep in panty hose my first full day at Wash. U. Enough said, right?
I would like to end this with some hope for the future. WE CAN MAKE WUFC GREAT AGAIN! When exactly was WUFC great before? I don’t know, I just got here—ask someone else. But kids do want to show school pride, and they do want to get into intense chant-offs. WUFC has the right idea—the execution just isn’t there. Create and assign each ResCollege its own chants. Lay the groundwork for future traditions. Build a poster or trophy that the winners get their names on (people love leaving a legacy). Make it so everyone understands the points and the difference between winning and losing. And, please, make it (a lot) shorter.