Flash mob brings creative, fun involvement

Letter to Editor by Shannon Frazer

People traveling on North Campus between White Hall Classroom Building and Patterson Office Tower on March 9 around 12:15 p.m. caught a glimpse of an unusual sight.

As part of a wide-scope prank, numerous students took part in a “freeze mob,” simultaneously standing frozen for three solid minutes while others looked on in confusion, amusement and fascination.

For those of you who were stuck scratching your head at what was going on, the stunt was coordinated through a secret Facebook event page, boasting around 300 confirmed participants by that Tuesday morning. 

People who wanted to participate, but were unfamiliar with specifics of a freeze mob, were directed to links to YouTube videos of large-scale freeze mobs in venues like Grand Central Station and Paris.

Despite the fact there was little more preparatory instruction than for participants to “practice holding really still in the mirror” and the command to “synchronize watches” without any prior assemblage of the mob members, I have to say I was impressed by the turnout and subsequent passerby reaction. This was one of the better pranks I’ve seen in my time as a student.

When I compare the freeze mob to the flash rave that occurred at the W. T. Young Library last spring, which supposedly took around two months to plan and execute, I have to appreciate the success of this prank, as it didn’t require police intervention and didn’t interfere with other students’ studying, two of the major complaints following the spring 2009 flash rave.

Plans are in the works for similar follow-up event this semester, this time outside the Student Center. It will be a collaborative effort, including campus organizations such as the Violence Intervention and Prevention Center and Martin Luther King Jr. Cultural Center.

After observing the reaction the first flash mob generated, I’m anxious to see what people will say and do when they witness this one.

Shannon Frazer

journalism senior