A peculiar groan emanated from Nickels Arcade on Monday night as a group of approximately 25 students coated in grey and red face paint attempted to give their best zombie impressions.
As part of the second annual Walk of the Dead Event, the Michigan Zombie Club teamed up with the University’s chapter of Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity to fundraise, gather canned goods and raise awareness for the Michigan Food Gatherers Society, an Ann Arbor-based charity that collects food for impoverished community members.
Engineering freshman Lindsay Podsiadlik led the group, instructing the students on how to best act like a zombie. The group, which included one child who heard about the event on the radio and wanted to participate, limped down South State Street, cut over to South University Avenue and then gathered in the Diag before performing a rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”
The zombies carried posters delineating the goals of Food Gatherers during the march, and despite the cold, many members of the club said they enjoyed raising awareness about an important issue.
“It was different than anything I’ve ever done before,” LSA junior Joe Butler said.
Butler said the signs they carried were a great way to promote Food Gatherers, especially because they held them up to windows as they passed buses and cars, adding he feels clubs should combine their efforts more often.
“There are so many groups at this school,” Butler said. “We can accomplish more if we group together.”
While raising awareness for Food Gatherers, the group also made the most of their costumes, chasing two men under the Engineering Arch that separates the Diag from South University.
LSA junior Cam Clark, Zombie Club co-president, said he was pleased with the group’s accomplishments at the end of the night.
“We raised quite a bit of money, got some canned goods and everyone had a lot of fun,” he said. “It was a success.”
LSA sophomore Annalisa Provenzano witnessed the group pouring out of Nickels Arcade and onto State Street, and said she thought it was an effective way to garner attention for an important cause.
“They will get people’s attention,” Provenzano said. “They will definitely get their point across for what they are trying to do.”
On their way down South University, LSA freshman Breah Dean and Art & Design sophomore Lauren Uhlian found themselves caught in the zombie mob.
“I almost peed myself,” Uhlian said. “I’m a baby though, so I thought it was really scary. It was very appropriate for Halloween, though.”
LSA sophomore Elena Khutoretsky said she was looking to join a fun club on campus, and found her place in the Zombie Club. She said she enjoyed the event and thought it was nice to feel like a part of something important.
Khutoretsky’s roommate, LSA junior Nick Maue, said this was his second year participating in the event. Though he is no longer a member of the club, he has volunteered with Food Gatherers and wanted to extend his involvement by participating in the walk.
“It’s nice to know that when — I’m not saying if — there is a Zombie apocalypse, we are going to be the survivors,” Maue said.