Oct 262004
Authors: Clarke Reader

A wave of students emptied the Lory Student Center Plaza, all in

pairs and hovering around cell phones Tuesday afternoon.

It was not some sort of political exodus – it was the beginning

of the Verizon Wireless Urban Challenge.

“It’s a fun event that goes to a bunch of colleges, so students

can see new cell phones, but they’re not trying to sell them, just

make students aware,” said Carter Sealing, a senior in finance and

real estate and member of Delta Chi, a fraternity that helped bring

the event to CSU.

Pairs of students were given a Verizon picture phone filled with

text messages containing clues.

The clues directed students to various places all over campus

such. For example, students had to figure out how many dots there

are on a pair of dice. Depending on what answer they came up with,

they would be directed to a different building on campus. Number 42

represented visiting the Eddy Building, 40 the Morgan Library and

36 the Clark Building.

Once students deciphered the clues they rushed to the locations

and took pictures of themselves with the camera phone.

Then it was off to the next of 12 locations, all of which had to

be visited in the span of 90 minutes.

Verizon began the challenge to get in touch with one of its key

markets: college students.

“College kids are a great example for the market. You always see

kids walking around with cell phones,” said Justin Strzalka,

college race director. “It’s a great way to put out new


Strzalka sent out e-mails to Greek students at universities all

over the country to see if any were interested in hosting the


“It’s a great fund-raiser for Greeks, so whoever responded to

the e-mails, we worked through the administration to bring it to

the school,” Strzalka said.

The challenge has been held all over the country.

“We’ve done it at Boulder, Boston University and Auburn,”

Strzalka said. “Just all over.”

The winner of the contest wins $1,000 – one of the many reasons

many students participated.

“Rent money,” said Marina Stranger, a sophomore zoology major,

when asked why she participated.

Money was not the only incentive, however.

“Money and competition. We never back down from a challenge,”

said Sol Patey, a senior natural resources and recreational tourism


When the race came to a close, Brandon Bean, a senior political

science and economics major and John Betz, a senior microbiology

major were the winners.

While money was an added incentive, the main purpose the event

was enjoyment.

“It’s for students to come out and use their brains to figure

out the clues and have a good time,” Sealing said.

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