Eastern Michigan University joined with Visit Ypsi, a tourism bureau focused on the Ypsilanti area, to create an Instagram Scavenger Hunt for students, which was held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, starting at the south entrance of the student center.
The scavenger hunt allowed students to adventure through Ypsilanti and capture pictures and videos of spots they have never seen before.
Christine Laughren, Director of Marketing and Communications at Ypsilanti Area Convention and Visitors Bureau said a goal of the scavenger hunt is to familiarize students with local areas such as Depot Town, parks, stores and historical spots.
Students were allowed to compete in the scavenger hunt on their own or in a group, but the staff only scored from one Instagram account.
“We will be giving prizes for restaurants and stores to first and second place winners,” said Haley Moraniec, VISION Volunteer Coordinator.
Moraniec, who is also an EMU senior, stated one of objectives of the activity is to introduce freshman as well as other students to the community.
The award for best video was given to Team Squirrel at the after party. The team won Ypsilanti water tower candles. Brialle Ringer, an EMU junior, was part of Team Squirrel. Ringer explained that the video they took that captured the moment that won them Best Video was when they went to the Ypsilanti food co-op downtown. She said her partner was breakdancing and she was doing the disco in the back.
“It was a really fun way to explore Ypsi in ways you never have before,” said Ringer.
Cipriana Gonzalez, an EMU junior, was also part of Team Squirrel. She said it was both easier, and a lot more fun than a traditional scavenger hunt. She enjoyed seeing the local businesses.
“It was a good way to show your friends different things in Ypsi by hashtagging the places you went to, even if they weren’t part of the scavenger hunt,” said Gonzalez.
Joyce Lee, an EMU freshman, was part of Team Beyoncé. She explained the scavenger hunt was more convenient being on Instagram.
“It was fun,” said Lee. “I liked it.”
Oksana Palczynski, an EMU freshman also of Team Beyoncé, said their group took a lot of great pictures throughout the scavenger hunt.
“We took a cool picture of the cafe,” said Palczynski.
Awards for first place, second place and most creative will be determined by Monday after points have been scored. Students and friends will have a chance to begin voting for their favorite photo on Tuesday after groups have submitted their pictures. The photo that receives the most “likes” will win the People’s Choice Award.