Havoc: “Let The Games Begin”

By Morgan Fretwell, Contributor

The Havoc theme this year was “The Olympics,” coinciding with the homecoming theme of “Let The Games Begin.”  Photo courtesy of Morgan Fretwell
The Havoc theme this year was “The Olympics,” coinciding with the homecoming theme of “Let The Games Begin.”
 Photo courtesy of Morgan Fretwell

One event reigns supreme in the hearts of those connected to Furman when homecoming week rolls around: Havoc.

Havoc is a “Survivor”-style tournament hosted by Furman University Student Activities Board (FUSAB), pitting students against each other in the quest for personal glory, but also for donations for the charities of their choice.

The contest, which almost always reflects the homecoming theme, imitated the Olympics this year. Students representing competing countries enjoyed frugal tent accommodations in the “Olympic Village,” located at the heart of campus in front of James B. Duke library.

Caroline Reed was named 2015 Havoc champion by dominating the internal competitions and reining in more than $1500 in donations throughout the week. Reed’s proceeds will benefit Restore International, a nonprofit organization that works with orphans and human trafficking victims.

“I helped to fund a bee farm in Somalia at a women’s safe home. The bee farm will allow the women to have a self sustaining economy,” Reed said.

She took a different approach in raising the funds—instead of asking for money, Reed surprised donors by engaging them in conversation about her charity.

“I discovered that people found it refreshing when I didn’t ask for money, and it usually resulted in them giving more,” she said.

       “Sophomore Madison Browne, who dressed up as Miss Canada, was “nervous [about the village] because they didn’t tell us anything beforehand so we had no idea what to expect.”

When faced with the unexpected, Browne showed up prepared with her moose coat for the chilly nights and hockey skates, just in case the pond happened to freeze into an ice rink. Nightly temperatures during the week of Havoc dropped to as low as 39 degrees, but the cold weather was not the only rude awakening.

“That first morning, and every morning to follow, Cliff Cross would wake up the competitors by sounding an air horn and yelling ‘Good morning everybody, it’s time to take our family picture,’” Lauren Ladouc, freshman Havoc competitor, said.

Despite her careful preparations, Browne woke up to a bright-eyed Cross only one morning to learn she was voted off in the first round. Although Browne was not in the competition for long she raised $130 for the Alzheimer’s Association in just one day.

One of the nine competitors who survived the first round of cuts was Colleen Cristensen, representing Jamaica and Water Emissions International. Cristensen said her key to survival was her skillful donation-collecting technique.

“My drum is my weapon,” Christensen said. “I blast Bob Marley on my speaker and jam on my drum all the way to class. When I see people enjoying my presence, I go up and ask them to donate to my charity.”

Despite their different donation-collecting techniques the competitors raised over $7,000 collectively for 12 charities this year, according to FUSAB Havoc Chair Casey Ryan.

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