As a journalistic organization with the utmost integrity, keeping our readers safe is one of the most important things we can do. To ensure no one suffers from Post Traumatic Splash Disorder, we now present the memo in it’s entirety:
Spirit Splash Survivors Coalition: Spirit Splash Safety Guide
The Spirit Splash Survivor Coalition realizes the appeal of risking mass bodily harm and potential brain damage for a decorative rubber duck, we know we could never stop Spirit Splash, so this is the only way we can ensure student’s safety. Don’t become a Spirit Splash victim, leave UCF as a Spirit Splash Survivor.
- Keep your head on a swivel. After about 5 minutes of being in the water, people will become restless and will be throwing their shoes like ninja stars into the crowd.
- Stay away from tall guys with girls on their shoulders, that is a house of cards just waiting to come down and inflict mass bodily harm to anyone in a three-foot radius.
- Beware the over-eager water splashers. They will be the first to scratch and claw once the ducks are airborne.
- Be ready for huge amounts of pushing and shoving. While wearing shoes isn’t a smart idea, buying toed-water shoes to protect the bottom of your feet whilst also giving you some friction to anchor yourself down and establish elite duck-catching position.
- Steer clear of net-wielding try-hards. These guys are always the tallest people at Spirit Splash anyway, but since that isn’t an advantage enough, they bring nets with them as well. People tend to grab at the nets and try and pull them down, which is a great way to accidently get someone right in the face with the handle.
- Hydrate the night before. You’re going to be packed tight with lots of other people, sweat is going to be coming by the gallon. The only way to ensure safety is to ensure you are at peak hydration levels, otherwise you may end up drinking Reflection Pond water out of sheer necessity.
- You shouldn’t bring your phone at all, but if you do decide to be sure to ziploc bag your phone, then ziploc bag that ziploc bag.
- If you catch a duck, immediately place the duck in your pants, to ensure no one will grab for it on your way out of the pond.
- Have $20 cash or venmo ready in case you don’t catch a duck and you see someone with extras– right after the Splash is the prime time to buy, because no one has had time to think about how much they’re gunna price gouge on the UCF Facebook pages.
- Write a note to your loved ones. You never know if this will be the Spirit Splash that finally does you in. It’s important to let your family members know you went out doing something you were passionate about: catching a limited-edition, decorative rubber duck in a moshpit of riled up college students.
Here are some first hand accounts of survivors and the horrors they faced:
“I remember, it was my freshmen year, and I lived at Apollo. All my roommates and I had to do was roll out of bed and add ourselves to the burgeoning glob of humanity forming around the reflection pond… it was all so peaceful. Then, about two hours later, after making new friends standing around us waiting for our moment to storm in, I saw a change in everyone around me. The countdown began, and then, we all began running. My roommate’s girlfriend tripped and fell, and the very same people we had spent the last two hours with, stormed around and over her without any second thought. I’m no better though, I left her behind as well. All’s fair in love and ducks.” — John Beach, 2015
“To this day, my shins still hurt thinking about all the times I was inadvertently kicked by people trying to position themselves in prime duck real-estate.”– Kevin Blacklidge, 2013
“Some guy next to us starting splashing the water around us. Then, everyone around us joined in. I got excited and started cheering, but a bunch of the water got in my mouth and I threw up almost immediately. The shame and sadness I feel are the things they don’t tell you about Spirit Splash.”– Lynn Reese, 2008
“I went home to bruises all the way up and down my body. A guy hit me in the back of the neck with a net he was carrying, and when I got home, my girlfriend thought the bruise it made was a hickie from another girl, so she broke up with me. I didn’t even get a duck.” — Brian Harper, 2016
We hope everyone stays safe this Homecoming season, and if you find yourself suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Splash Disorder), counselors are available through the SSSC phoneline at: 1-800-WNT-DUKS.