PTK Laser Tag Brings ‘Walking Dead’ to South


Trevor Harris/San Jacinto Times

William McAllister (left) and Oscar Puente pose for a photo before participating in the zombie-inspired competition. The activity aims to help students relieve the stress of rigorous study schedules.

Zombies roamed the walkways of San Jacinto College South Campus Oct. 28 but not because of a deadly virus outbreak. Instead, it was the work of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) who organized a recreational zombie laser tag event.

PTK is a national invitational honor society for students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

According to the organization’s student president, Tabatha Tufts, this was not a typical laser tag game of strategy and guns, but rather “a great way for students to blow off steam.” The event featured zombies battling the evening away as part of an effort to relieve the stress of rigorous school schedules.

Before the game, the cosmetology department invited players to transform into the zombie look of their choice, free of charge. Participants sported many elaborate designs unique to the living dead including flesh wounds, multiple scars, mangled teeth, bruises, and blackened eyes. Zombie selfies caught the transformations as participants emerged from the makeup chairs.

At the start, players congregated in the lawn north of the library where obstacles were strategically placed for the laser tag match up. After a quick tutorial from the sponsoring organization, the zombies began their battle. Screams, laughs, and electronic zapping sounds were abundant as participants raced around the course of large screens and inflatable obstacles to avoid being hit by encroaching zombies.

PTK adviser Elizabeth McKinley said the event is part of a national PTK initiative called the College Project. The College Project encourages chapters to look at the needs and opportunities at their specific campuses to give back to their communities. Chapters from two-year colleges around the nation are competing for the Hallmark Award, an honor given to the best projects. The PTK chapter on the South campus named their project “The Amazing Race,” which includes team-building and community service projects.

Meanwhile, PTK member Billy McVey explained the genesis of the unique competition.

“I went to a Zombie paintball match a while back and had a lot of fun and thought of how we could adapt a similar event at San Jac for students and staff,” McVey said. “And it seems that we (PTK) succeeded.”

Upcoming events through Phi Theta Kappa’s Amazing Race Project include a Veterans Day Walk scheduled for Nov. 7.