After Crashing to a Standstill, Senior Spooning to Resume Thursday

Mike Wincek’s ’11 glass-shattering collision with one of the doors at Morse Hall brought senior spooning to a halt this past Tuesday, though the game will resume Thursday. Paul Murphy, Dean of Students, announced the decision to reinstate the game during All School Meeting on Wednesday, May 11.

Between sixth and seventh period, Wincek chased Kerry Joyce ’11 from Pearson to Morse, along the side of the buildings facing Commons.

According to Wincek, a bystander held a door open to let Joyce in since the rules of spooning dictate that students cannot be tagged in buildings.

Just before Joyce was able to step across the threshold, Wincek, charging at full speed, extended his arm and successfully tagged her with his spoon.

“Then [Joyce] ducked through the door, but my momentum carried me into it,” said Wincek.

According to Wincek, he didn’t immediately register what was happening since he was just happy he got the tag. He sustained cuts on his forehead and both arms.

Olivia Bren ’13 was inside Morse, facing the door as Wincek crashed through it. She said, “There was a pool of blood under [Wincek], on the glass. I saw him basically dripping blood.”

“I guess I didn’t know the extent of everything at the time,” said Wincek. “I was more aware of the game that was going on. I’ve also never been the person to freak out.”

Bren said, “It took me a second to react as he hit the door, and then I was in shock because it hit me how so much worse it really could have been.”

Chris Capano, Director of Student Activities, arrived at the scene after receiving a phone call about the incident.

“It was a very scary looking scene. Mike was pretty bloody, [yet] he was in good spirits,” said Capano.

Capano said there have been no major injuries besides Wincek’s. Public Safety has reported students taking their chases to the streets, with a few of them almost getting hit by cars, according to Capano.

Several math teachers came down to help Wincek and clean up the glass.

An ambulance arrived around two PM, and brought Wineck to Lawrence General Hospital, where he received 25 to 30 stitches in his hand.

Shortly after the crash, Capano emailed the Class of 2011 to say senior spooning had been suspended. Capano came to the decision on his own.

“It was an immediate decision,” said Capano. “It just felt like everyone should take a break to rest for a second and think things over.”

Wincek said that he replied to Capano’s email, “requesting [Capano] to not let an accident of [his] own doing stop the game and take it away from everybody else.”

At Wednesday’s ASM, Paul Murphy said, “With some thought and some discussion… we have decided to let the game go on.”

According to Capano, he Murphy, the Cluster Deans, Carlos Hoyt, Associate Dean of Students and Becky Sykes, Associate Head of School, met and made the decision early Wednesday morning.

Capano said, “We went back-and-forth about what to do, and we thought that the seniors deserved a second chance. We have faith in students to make the right decisions and so we decided we would try again.”

Murphy said that spooning would resume on Thursday, with a change in the definition of a safe zone. Students touching a building will now be considered “safe,” unlike previously when students were only considered “safe” when inside buildings. Murphy explained in his follow-up email to the student body, “This will eliminate the activity around doors.”

Besides buildings, students are considered “safe” while attending school commitments, including classes, sports, community service, or even while giving an admissions tour.Spooning can only take place from eight AM to eight PM on weekdays.

Murphy said if there were any other accidents, the game would be permanently cancelled.

“Every year [senior spooning] gives us a little bit of pause, and we worry,” he said. “We reiterate a need for safety. It’s important to have fun and it’s important to keep a great tradition going. We just have to always weigh the positives and negatives.”

Each year two Blue Key Heads, who do not participate themselves, act as the “commissioners” for senior spooning. This year Aniebiet Abasi ’11 and Nikita Lamba ’11 volunteered to be in charge.

Senior spooning is essentially a game of tag, in which the commissioners randomly assign each senior a target, whose name is written on a spoon placed in his or her mailbox.

After a certain amount of time, the commissioners reshuffle the spoons, giving each of the remaining participants a new target.

The game goes on until one person, the winner, is left untagged.