Fifteen students dared to taste frightening food combinations at Residence Hall Association’s Fear Factor event Wednesday night.
Chicken tenders marinated in wasabi powder and horseradish, a shot glass of fish sauce mixed with sweet tea, “maggot” pasta sprinkled with sesame seeds, and chicken wings fashioned to resemble bloody bat wings were among the dishes served.
Senior Residence Hall Association member Scott Cooper said The Mane Dish chefs were in charge of creating the menu.
“They really enjoy coming up with the crazy food choices,” Cooper said. “They are the ones in charge of hosting everything. Residence Hall Association helps facilitate it.”
According to Cooper, the event returned to Southeastern last year. He said he and his friends decided to bring it back after seeing photos of the event from years past, when RHA was known as Hall Council and Fear Factor still aired on TV screens across America.
“None of us know why it was discontinued. A lot of people responded well to it last year, so we decided to do it again,” he said.
He said the rules of Fear Factor have changed since last year at the request of The Mane Dish. This time, only 15 people were allowed to register, while nearly 40 students participated last year. Cooper said a smaller number of participants lessens the amount of food wasted at the end of the night.
However, according to Cooper, other aspects of the event remained the same. Both years included three rounds before a final competition for the first place title. He said the contestants who finish their food the fastest advance to the next round. In the event that no one can finish their plate, the person who eats the most advances to the next round.
RHA offered prizes correlating to each of the rounds.
“Everyone who participates gets a bandana,” Cooper said. “The top 10 get an apron, and the top five get chuck buckets. We haven’t had anyone use them yet, but it’s a nice little souvenir they get to keep. First place receives a basket full of Southeastern gear, which includes a shirt, blanket, water bottle and hat.”
Not everyone present at the event wanted to participate. Sophomore Aylin Padilla came as a spectator after seeing a flyer for Fear Factor near the card swipe station in The Mane Dish.
“I’m excited to see the gross food they have to eat and their reactions to it,” she said.
Fallon Myers, marketing coordinator for Southeastern Dining Services, said the menu is Halloween-themed because the original schedule of the event placed it during Homecoming Week.
“Fear Factor has been a semester in the making. We decided to push it back to avoid conflict with Oktoberfest,” she said.