Nathan Plumley, Contributing Writer
The second biggest club on campus, the Zombie Defense Corps (ZDC), includes almost 120 active members. As listed in their club’s constitution, “The purpose of the Zombie Defense Corps is to raise awareness for the importance of having a plan for an invasion of zombies. This group will focus on creating a plan to aid in the safety of students at SUNY Oneonta in case of an attack by zombies. We plan to put on programs throughout the year to help raise awareness concerning zombies and zombie related issues.”
With an innocent and satirical purpose and some of the brightest SUNY students in their ranks, the ZDC is by no means a club with malicious intentions. However, the point that I wish to put up for debate is the potential for terror that this Trojan horse presents.
The designs and color schemes of some Nerf guns with after-market modifications can resemble those of actual firearms. Even if these modified versions of the toy guns are banned from the club there’s still another potential hazard in the fact that disguising a firearm as one of these toys is relatively easy and inexpensive. Further, the erratic behavior of the ZDC’s members that coincides with this club’s main event takes place in the midst of a functioning, productive public, which conditions the general college population to these otherwise extreme abnormalities.
This past week I witnessed gangs of students with these toy guns roaming through crowds, taking cover in militarily-strategic positions around campus, and communicating via handheld radios with other gangs of students all over campus. Now this doesn’t appear on the surface to be a big deal – it’s just a game. But the most important lesson I ever learned in grade school was in sixth grade, at 9:30am on a Tuesday, when the entire class watched the World Trade Center attack on live television.
I hate to say it but ever since that day we’ve all lived in a world where public safety trumps careless fun – if you haven’t noticed, then here’s the memo. I shouldn’t even have to mention the events that took place in 1999 at Columbine High, which has since made this club’s general conduct grounds for expulsion in almost any high school nationwide.
One person exploiting the conditions provided by Z.D.C.’s current practices would have an amplified impact through the most basic terror plot simply because he or she could roam freely with an actual firearm in hand without provoking alarm before initiating an attack. Further than that though, could you imagine an organized group of people exploiting this avenue? Would you think anything of four people hiding around the quad between classes with guns, walkie-talkies, painted faces, backpacks, and those ribbons on their arms? They wouldn’t alarm anyone milling about the quad or looking out the window from a class, and they could just stand there and wait for classes to let out – they’d be hiding in plain sight.