A look into senior assassin


Pictured above is a water gun, which is what the seniors use in order to eliminate their targets. “Senior assassin is a game in which everyone participating is assigned a target by random whom they must “kill” by dousing them in water before the end of a round.”

Abby Mitty and Hannah Rice

After a long year of hard work and planning for their futures, seniors celebrated their last few weeks as WHS students by playing an annual game called “senior assassin.”

According to Principal Allyson Mizoguchi, senior assassin has been around for eight to ten years. All of the seniors that participate in the game are assigned a person, known as their target, who they need to “assassinate.” To “assassinate” their target, they need to squirt them with toy water guns before the end of the round or they are disqualified. Rounds usually last about five days. When the round is over, players who are still standing are assigned new targets.

Commissioners, who this year were seniors Sharmila Mysore and Nyah Webb, assign safety items which give any player holding them invincibility from any attackers. Without the safety item, seniors are vulnerable to an attack, which would result in their elimination. The safety item can change randomly at night or be removed completely. The last person standing wins a cash prize, which makes the game all the more competitive.

Although most seniors love senior assassin, controversy has surrounded the game since its early years. The WHS administration has concerns that the game is a distraction to the student body. This year, there have been many new restrictions put in place to keep the game safe and separate from school. Students are prohibited from participating in assassin on campus during school hours (6:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) and the game is never allowed to take place in the school buildings. The staff is also trying to restrict students from carrying any of the safety items in school, as they may become a distraction to students.

“The control we have is around what happens at school and during school hours, and the kind of educational environment we want to preserve and maintain here,” Mizoguchi said.

The many restrictions the school has created and the new rules the game has adopted all came with good reasons. Last year, the class of 2016 caused much conflict while participating in assassin. There had been various cases where students made a scene causing spectators to believe students were in danger. Last year, there were students running and screaming in Donelan’s as they tried to “assassinate” their targets. Eventually, the police had to come to the school and shut it down by threatening participators with criminal charges. This led to an abrupt end to the game by the administration and police for the class of 2016.

The issues with the game in 2016 concerned WHS administration. The school has no involvement in senior assassin, as it is played outside of school; therefore, they have no way to shut the game down. The school still does what is in their control to keep the game safe, such as restricting when it is played on school grounds.

“I think for now the new rules will definitely not impact the game too much. This is mostly because people don’t want to do anything to jeopardize the game and they realize that it’s more important to be safe and competitive than dangerous,” Mysore said.

The game was a lot more successful this year compared to last year, according to the administration. The students were respectful to the school’s policies of the game.

“For the most part, compared to last year, [the seniors] have done really well keeping things – at least to the parameters – away from school grounds,” Vice Principal Ethan Dolleman said.

The administration does not support the game because they believe it is a dangerous activity which causes students to do crazy and stupid things, such as run into Donelan’s yelling for help, which occurred last year. They also believe that it can become a distraction to the educational environment at school.

“I don’t like it. I think it’s in poor taste,” Dolleman said. “I think the idea of going around and killing your classmates is something that’s just not a great thing. I mean, I’m all for students finding a way to do it. I played assassin when I was a kid at summer camp, but we did it with Polaroid cameras and glasses were the only safety [item]. That level of things is fine. [For the game played at WHS], it is only a matter of time until, unfortunately, some kids get hurt.”

“Nyah and I are trying so hard to make this game really fun and exciting for everyone, and we will continue to come up with unique ideas to keep our grade on their toes,” Mysore said.