Friday, November 13, 2015

In Case of Campus War or Invasion

College or University campuses are often much like their own worlds; even ones that are open to the public to wander about in have a different feel to them than the rest of the towns they occupy. Within campuses are different factions of students, usually created by residence halls, majors, and/or clubs. These factions are highly competitive, frequently competing with each other with tooth and nail in campus events.

One day it may not end with the games.

One day, a faction may rise, smearing the blood of their enemies across their faces (or maybe just the ketchup from the student cafeteria), and declare that they will take campus by force, regardless of offers to surrender peacefully.

One day they may spread to another campus in their maddened frenzy for power.


Zombies, aliens, or both will invade campus.

Regardless, college and university students have various options to increase survival.

Always be as prepared as possible before war or invasion breaks out. Your friends will be grateful for a reduction of team deaths or captures by the enemy on your part.

Campus Familiarity: Indispensable.

Layout: When running and/or hiding from an enemy, know where you are and where you are going. Trying to use a map will slow you down. Maps do not show you short cuts either. Take walks around campus often, exploring new areas.

Buildings: Know which buildings store what materials and which would make for the best base of operations. Is there chloroform in the science building? Where is the clinic, and what antibiotics are readily available there? Which building is easiest to barricade and defend? This is all important and should be taken into account. Unless the business building is the best built or closest to several buildings that you will need access to, it is not likely to make an efficient base.

Rations: Starving during war or invasion is less than ideal.

Campus Bookstore: The campus bookstore rarely has only books. Generally this is where students can find shirts, jackets, umbrellas, and other various merchandise that has the school name and mascot on it. There are also microwavable foods and candy bars. Clothes and food are fundamental rations.

Vending Machines: Know where the vending machines are. Take special note of what each one has to offer. Chances are, there will be some variation.

Store Runs: College and University students will often take trips off campus to buy food items that the bookstore or vending machines may not have, such as canned foods. When on a food run, purchase a little more than is absolutely necessary and stash it somewhere safe. Unless there is a sale, buying extra in bulk is not recommended because, as a student, you have little money and need to pay for laundry, which is still important at this point.

Dorm Rooms: Be aware of how much food is where. Chances are, many of your neighbors will die in the initial outbreak of violence as well as later on, and their food stashes will be free for your use.

Team: Yes, this does have to be a group project if you want better chances of survival.

Basic Team Building: This may be difficult for introverts (like myself) to accept, but long-term survival requires a team, and that means socializing beforehand in order to identify the best candidates. These people will need to be able to get along well under the worst conditions as well as have practical skills. Never select someone based on appearance. Betty may be pretty, but if she has nothing else to add, she'll likely get someone killed. If one of your candidates is in a relationship, either reject that one or be prepared to support the extra member (unless you wanted both of them anyway). Melodrama is a headache at best. Also: pick people who are just a little crazy, but also reasonable. Balance between logic and free creativity.

Recruitment: Be tactful. If they think you're insane, they'll have nothing to do with you.

Leader: Having a leader is crucial. This will be the person who will make decisions and has to get along well with the team. He or she must be logical and caring. Life must be valued, but willing to be sacrificed when necessary. It's a hard role, and while many may clamber for it, very few can be trusted with it. Be wise when selecting your leader.

Other Offices: You will need people of widely varying skill sets. Your team may designate jobs such as spy, procurer of transportation, etc. You could also have only the leader named and the rest simply teammates. So long as everyone is somehow useful, the team should hold together.

Weapon Planning: Anything is a possible weapon, and different team members will be skilled with different types of weapons. Know who is best with what and then provide it.

Alternate Plans: Have a plan B. Also have many, many more plans. Know where to flee on campus and off. Do any of your teammates live far away from campus and other civilization? Go there. Anyone have ammunition at home? Stop there on the way. But always, be willing to change your plans.

Team Work: Listen to your leader, cooperate with your team, and be willing to set yourself aside for their sake. A lot will go wrong, but it may not go as badly as possible.

Base and Rations: Be aware of how long you will be able to stay at your base. Rations for that location will eventually run out, even if you feel inclined to experiment with cannibalism (not recommended). Know how long your rations will last and how far you will be able to travel on those rations before needing more. Plan accordingly.

 Many thanks to Jason for his help with this post as well as for his valued friendship.