Eureka College's Student Magazine Since 1889

The Eureka College Pegasus

Eureka College's Student Magazine Since 1889

The Eureka College Pegasus

Eureka College's Student Magazine Since 1889

The Eureka College Pegasus

Viral Gun Trend Shocks Eureka College

Wes Adkins

Only a few weeks into the 2023 fall semester, Eureka College students and faculty were emailed in regard to an incident where a few students were “wearing masks and using a weapon, Orbeez gel blaster guns, to fire projectiles at other students.” Not much information was given after this first email, and talk of the incident seems to have died down since.

The original email regarding the incident was sent out to staff and students on September 8th, at 10:47am. However, for many students this email was delayed. Melody Crickman, the director of marketing and strategic communications, explained this delay was due to a glitch in an IT setting, but the email was sent out as soon as administration was aware of the issue.

The initial email stated, “We are aware of some students wearing masks and using a weapon, Orbeez Gel Blaster guns, to fire projectiles at other students.” The email went on to say that the college has zero tolerance for violence, that an investigation was held, and that action was taken.

A second email came to staff and faculty that encouraged them to be “remaining vigilant against violence.” Students still have not received any follow up email updates on the situation, which soon became the most frustrating part of the entire situation for both staff and students. Since then, the incident for the most part has become quiet.

“I have nothing else to add, as we do not discuss disciplinary cases with students or people not involved,” the dean of students, Norris Chase said.

Crickman explained there were over a dozen students involved, and the investigation of the incident is now over. Crickman was then asked if anyone was injured during the incident, which she responded with a direct quote from the student code of conduct.

“Students at Eureka College have an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner that concern for others is displayed.  This means that no conduct on the part of any individual or group should cause harm to others.”

Crickman ended by explaining that “safety is a top priority” for both the campus community and visitors. While the college wants students to have fun and make memories, there is also an underlying concern of safety. Along with this, students must ensure their actions do not violate other’s rights or safety.

“A group of students were playing a game over the course of several weeks.  At one point, one or more students who were not currently playing were engaged by other student(s). This led to a complaint,” Crickman said.

The director of campus safety, Loren Marion, was also reached out to regarding the issue, but he declined to comment.

One anonymous senior, while driving back to campus, saw someone standing in the shadows while holding an orbeez gun watching them. The student also explained that the window of their vehicle was shot. While there was no serious damage done to the vehicle, it took a lot of elbow grease to clean off the residue from the impact’s explosion. They explained upon first approaching the vehicle they thought it was bird poop.

The student explained they were never in fear during the initial encounter. However, the student also heard that the students involved were allegedly freezing the orbeez. They recalled seeing a photo of another student who was shot in the back, and said it looked like welts from a paintball gun.

The student also said that Yik Yak, a popular college app that allows student to anonymously connect and chat with others, immediately blew up when the event was first going on and after the first email was sent out to students.

Eureka College is not the first to experience an incident like this. About a year ago something known as the “Orbeez Challenge” became a viral TikTok trend. The trend involves people shooting bystanders with water pellets from airsoft guns. The trend quickly picked up momentum and became popular in both high schools and colleges.

While some see the trend as a harmless joke, others refer to it as assault. Some scenarios have even led to injuries and death for both victims and perpetrators. In some circumstances law enforcement was called, and students were arrested and charged with assault.

Nobody spoken with could confirm nor deny if the events that occurred at Eureka were associated to the viral TikTok trend. Regardless if the events that occurred at Eureka were related to the viral TikTok trend, the events from September left some students on campus shaken.

“The event went from a joke to a safety hazard,” the senior said.


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About the Contributor
Wes Adkins
Wes Adkins, Editor-in-Chief
Wes Adkins (Metamora IL), a senior pursuing a major in English, is an avid movie fan, artist, and mixologist. When not at Eureka he’s working at Versa Press 40+ hours a week as a bindery operator. After graduation Wes will be moving south to pursue his interests in leadership and management.