Helping your residents get to know each other and form connections is a challenging part of the RA job.
The Sock Wars Program is a great way to help your residents get to know each other. Here are some basic rules for the program/game (you can add some, delete some, or modify them in any way so they meet your needs):
• All “eliminations” must be done in private. If another person sees you “eliminate” someone, that “elimination” does not count.
• To “eliminate” someone, you must tag him or her with a sock.
• You cannot throw a sock to “eliminate” someone.
• You cannot force your way into someone’s room to “eliminate” them (you must be invited into their room to “eliminate” someone in this location.
• “You need to define “elimination zones”. As an example, “eliminations” may be permitted all over campus, but never during class time.
• When a person is “eliminated” they are required to give the name of the person they are trying to “eliminate” to the person who just “eliminated” them.
Setting Up the Game
• List everyone on your floor in a random way ( not by roommates and such.)
• Go through the list and give the first person on the list the second person’s name on a piece of paper with instructions that this is the name of the person they need to “eliminate”.
• Continue this process until all names have been distributed. The last person on the list is given the name of the first person on the list, as the person they need to “eliminate”.
• Select a day for the game to begin and let the games begin!
• I distributed names via mailboxes, but they can also be personally handed out to those playing the game, to personally make sure everyone receives their “name.”
Note: Sometimes the game may take awhile, and at other times it will go fast.
Note: You can make a “Sock Wars Eliminations” bulletin board that lists the names of all who’ve been “eliminated”. This may help keep everyone involved with the game, even if they’ve been “eliminated”.
Final Overview of the Game/Determining the Winner
The point of Sockwars is for your residents to get out and meet new people on their floor. The winner is whoever is left when the game concludes (you’ll know when this happens because the winner ends up with their own name when everyone else has been “eliminated”).
My floor has had a great time playing the game, and it has worked positively to help draw residents together. I hope the program works well for you, and that your floor enjoys it.
Submitted by Chris Bogucki, Resident Assistant, University of Northern Colorado