The Daily Gamecock

Cocky's Quest widens search

Throughout the week, there will be teams of students in matching T-shirts exploring campus and taking seemingly random photos. These teams are the participants of the annual Cocky's Quest, a campus-wide scavenger hunt that challenges students with photo clues.

Teams of three to five students will spend the week taking pictures that fit the clues and will regroup on Friday for a new batch of clues, based on unusual items. Joe Johnson, program advisor for Carolina After Dark and Carolina Productions, said that the biggest difference this year is the span of the event. In years past, the Quest took place on a single night.

"It's been a annual event for five or six years now," Johnson said, "and it's been run on the same weekend, on the Friday night, and so I just decided, 'Let's try something different and just see how it goes.'"

Johnson said 29 teams have registered for the event, and it's unclear yet how the change in scheduling will affect participation. It's still possible that teams will drop out during the week or just not show up on the last day, but Johnson said he is happy with the turnout.

Ashley Harzog, a graduate assistant for Carolina After Dark and Carolina Productions, thinks that the Quest and other similar events from Carolina After Dark can keep students from getting too caught up in a "drinking culture."

"It's really rewarding for me to get to offer students things to do on campus that are not going to Five Points," she said. "Doing something fun late at night with your friends that's goofy — those are the things you're going to remember after college."

All of the teams were given shirts that matched their team names. The T-shirts were individually designed by a graffiti artist, who talked with each team to get their image and color preferences. Johnson said that the artist was challenged to produce enough shirts in time for the start of the event Monday night.

The teams will get points for satisfying the photo and item clues, and there will be winners from both categories. The top 10 teams in both categories combined will be awarded cash prizes, the largest of which is $500. The closing event of the Quest will be the night of item clues on Friday, which kicks off at 8 p.m. and will be judged at 11 p.m. 

Harzog said that she sees this as an opportunity to get students to meet one another as well as have fun with people they already know. 

"I like to challenge students to step a little bit out of their comfort zone and do some things that are funny," Harzog said. "They have to incorporate someone into their picture that they just meet on campus. And that encourages students to get out of their shell a little bit."