A rocky road ahead for the Escape Room Club

BY
STAFF REPORTER

Escape Room
Allison Hageman/THE REVIEW
After its founding last spring, low membership threatens to drive the club out of existence.

The university’s Escape Room Club might end up being a missed opportunity for students. With only 15 students, most members are seniors and the entire executive board is graduating this semester. It is going to take a lot of effort and an increase in participation for the club to survive.

“The future of the club might be rocky,” Caitlin Serva, the president of the club, said.

This Registered Student Organization (RSO) offers the same experience as the Newark’s Exodus Escape Room, but for free. To go to Newark’s Exodus Escape Room, the cost is typically $45 for a group of three. Meanwhile, the ERC offers at least one free escape room per semester.

Many students, however, are unaware of the club, but would like to get involved.

“There are tons of opportunities for students to get involved,” Daniel Grindle, one of the founders and previous co-president of the club, said.

“To keep functioning, though, we really need not only more members to help contribute to the rooms we build, but more leaders who have a vision for something they want to make that the whole university can enjoy,” club treasurer Christian Ruth said.

Because there are over 300 RSOs for students to join, there can be some competition as to which club students choose to participate in. The size of ERC makes it difficult to get the word spread throughout the student body, and may not reach a lot of people who are interested in joining.

“I do think more member would help but mostly we appreciate dedicated members rather than sheer numbers,” Serva said. “Our club isn’t one that you can just come to our hour meeting and expect we will finish the room in that time. We do a lot of work outside the meetings to build and design all of our props.”

The ERC was created after a failed attempt to create an escape room as a publicity event for a different RSO. Grindle, Serva and recent graduate Carolyn Hall were then left with an almost completed escape room then decided to turn it into a club on its own in the spring of 2017.

Ever since, the club has struggled to attract members.

Excluding the members on the executive board, none of the club’s current members were involved before the fall semester, Serva said.

This contrasts with the overall rising popularity of escape rooms in the United States and the entire world within the past decade. According to the Los Angeles Times, ten years ago escape rooms first became popular in Japan and then spread throughout Asia. Ever since then, the trend has slowly become a cultural craze throughout the United States and the entire world.

The university’s Escape Room Club is open to students for membership and also welcomes any outsiders who just want to participate in the actual rooms.

For more information, attend a club meeting on Thursdays at 7 p.m. in Gore Hall Room 306, or you can email udescape@gmail.com.

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