Engineering junior Huey Shann Sue inched forward through a maze of chairs, clutching a spoon that held a tennis ball.

“Go right — hard-core right,” yelled Engineering junior Dane Reggia, her teammate.

Blindfolded, Sue shuffled further into the maze. Reggia eyed her feet, stopping and redirecting her when she came too close to touching anything, an offense that would send them to the beginning again.

Sue and Reggia were competing in the first-ever North Campus Challenge — a series of team-building games aimed at fostering collaboration among College of Engineering students.

The University of Michigan Engineering Council, the college’s student government, put on the event in Pierpont Commons Saturday afternoon.

UMEC’s freshmen council, a subsection of the organization introduced last year, organized the challenge over the summer.

UMEC President and Engineering senior Courtenay Holscher said many engineers in the College of Engineering were used to taking control of group work during high school, doing much of the work on their own and allowing team members to add their names to the final copy. She said the competition was an effort to show students the importance of teamwork in a college atmosphere.

“In Engineering, both professionally and academically, a lot of things are team-centered,” she said. “We thought this event would be a good chance to remind students that they’re at a new kind of environment where people all carry their weight.”

Participating students signed up in teams of four, each one doing a rotation of five different games and challenges. Twenty teams signed up for the event, eight of them made up of freshmen.

Eight restaurants, including student favorites like Panda Express, Noodles & Company and Stucchi’s, sponsored the challenge by providing food and prizes.

The sponsors each claimed an event — like Subway’s Maze and Panda’s Pictionary — and winners received a gift certificate from the event’s restaurant. Other events involved transferring a golf ball via long cardboard tubes and organizing eight blindfolded engineers into a square using only communication and a rope.

Some people were enticed with free food and prizes but some, like Engineering freshman Shibo Fang, came with peer mentors as a way to meet people and “have fun.”

“I liked it,” Fang said. “It was a really great first time.”

UMEC member Aristo Chang said the event was also aimed at decreasing competitiveness on North Campus. Within the College of Engineering, many students won’t help each other because they want to fare better on the grading curve, he said.

“That’s what we’re trying to eliminate,” Chang said. “We want teamwork — we want people to help each other do well.”

Peer Mentor and Engineering junior Urvashi Sharma brought her three mentees to the event, forming a team.

“It’s a good way to interact with people,” she said. “All the activities make you work together.”

Chao said he was pleased with the first official North Campus Challenge and hoped it would become a tradition.

“We can show people what an engineering event is really like,” he said.

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