Float or Sink: Bishop’s Senior Assassin

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Yasi Henderson (’22) poses for the Bishop’s Senior Assassin’s Instagram (@tbsseniorassassin_2022) as a part of the game.

Shirley Xu, Staff Writer

In February, Bishop’s Seniors began sporting fashionable floaties around their arms or ankles, marking the beginning of the yearly game of Senior Assassin. 

For those unfamiliar, Senior Assassin is a competition between seniors in which players are assigned a target each week and work towards eliminating them with a squirt gun. Players are immune to elimination if they are in class or are wearing an armband floatie. Like many other schools nation-wide that participate in Senior Assassin, Bishop’s game requires video or photo evidence to verify any eliminations, which are posted on @tbsseniorassassin_2022 via Instagram. Bishop’s seniors are also playing for a prize; having all pitched in a $10 entry fee to participate in the game, there is a total of $1000 at stake. The winner who stays alive the longest gets $700 of the prize, and the one who did the most eliminations will get the rest. 

Weeks into the game, the administration made some modifications. As stated by Class of 2022 Sponsor Ms. Dolores Williamson via an email on February 10th, “we will no longer be using water guns. We don’t want to promote gun violence in any way.” As an alternative, seniors were encouraged to use “water squirters that are not modeled after guns.” Additionally, the previously named purge days (in which floaties do not provide protection, but other criteria– like wearing a certain color, a type of attire, etc– can) have been renamed “Free for all Fridays.” In the email, Ms. Williamson also mentioned that seniors would no longer be able to play the game on-campus, because the cash prize incentive encouraged gambling. All eliminations would need to occur off school grounds. The cash prize would remain, however. 

Seniors had a variety of responses to the changes. Ellie Hodges (‘22) reflected, “I don’t disagree with all of the school’s policies on Senior Assassin, but I wished they had come sooner.” Since the alterations, “It doesn’t feel like people are actually enjoying [Senior Assassin] anymore and have sort of given up,” said Thomas Muniz (‘22). “A few classmates have actually just quit and given up their spots.” 

Although Senior Assassin moving off-campus has discouraged some players, the competitive spirit remains high in others, as the game remains ongoing, even in May. Angie Robles (‘22) considered the options: “I’d rather play it off campus with the money than to continue on campus for fun. It can be fun off campus as well! Showing up at someone’s house at 6AM: that’s fun. Stalking them: it might be a little creepy, but it’s fun. Sometimes people forget when they’re off campus so it makes the game a lot easier, but it’s also a bit harder, too.”

Angie thinks that she has a good chance of winning it all, too. With a whopping thirteen eliminations under her belt, she’s the most deadly player that remains in the game. Angie vividly remembers getting “the first kill,” or elimination, of the game. “I pulled up to school one morning and before my target got out of her car, I went out to her window, rolled it down, and boom. I squirted her with my water gun. I guess that set the tone. People started becoming afraid of me,” she laughed. 

So, what’s been her key to success? Although she won’t detail all her trade secrets, Angie reflected, “I had to betray a lot of friends. I’ve had to show no mercy. I’m still trying to mend a friendship because I got someone out and they weren’t too happy with me. I usually get them when they’re not expecting it, like functions– that’s usually my main place to attack and eliminate them.” She advised, “Your friends are not your friends… in the game. I have to be cold-hearted and coldblooded. I can’t show any fear. People are scared that they’ll be assigned as my target and that I’m going to get them.” Angie added, “Don’t hate the player, hate the game. Grind don’t stop.” Seeing how Angie has since dominated the leaderboard, it’s definitely true– the “grind” really doesn’t stop, ever. 

Zenzele Greene (‘22), the second deadliest player at the moment, also expressed their love for the deceptive nature of Senior Assassin. “I love it,” they said, “I’m a really competitive person, and I love games, especially those where you have to be sneaky about it to eliminate your assignment.” 

Zen also expressed the thrill of getting new assignments every week. “I have to plan around how I’m going to get a person. Can I steak out their house? Wait by their car? Things like that,” they said. Similarly to Angie, Zen needed to make many sacrifices to get to where they are now. “I’ve actually gotten three of my friends out,” Zen laughed. “It was a big betrayal, but also really funny. It sounds horrible, but there’s something really rewarding about ‘getting’ someone.” 

To Zen, yet another part of the fun is the adaptability needed to unexpected situations. “You have to be super strategic about it, but also sometimes you just get lucky,” they said. “Like sometimes, the person just happens to be there and you have your water gun.” 

While this year’s Senior Assassin is still ongoing with many seniors remaining safe from the reach of any water squirters, the entirety of the senior class continues to wait eagerly to see who ends up winning it all. Whether it’s Angie, Zen, or another player, we’ll just have to wait and find out!