University Scavenger Hunt Draws 250 Students Downtown

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University of Scranton students had a unique opportunity during Fall Welcome Week to explore the many boutique shops, ethnic restaurants, cafes, and cultural venues that make up the Electric City. 

The University held its first ever downtown scavenger hunt Sept. 2. The event was open to all of the Jesuit university’s students.

IggyMore than 250 students registered in pairs and received t-shirts and maps at 3:30 p.m. on the DeNaples Patio.  At 4 p.m., the participants descended on downtown Scranton with the goal of locating as many of the over 30 participating businesses as quickly as they could. The students, using the Foursquare mobile app to find clues, had to find a poster-version of Iggy, the University's mascot, in each location.  Iggy also made cameo appearances around town. 

Mary Kate Gallaglier, a freshman nursing major from Port Ewen, N.Y., said the scavenger hunt was a great way for her to learn about the city.

“I thought it was a lot of fun,” Gallaglier said. “It was a  really good way to see the city.”

 Mike Trischetta, a junior physics major from Scranton, said he was surprised at what he found was available to him in Scranton.

 “It was very eye-opening,” Trischetta said. “I saw a lot of places I otherwise never would  have gone  to.”

The scavenger hunt ended with a reception at the Vintage Theater at 5:30 p.m. Participants were  treated to free foods from downtown eateries while the winners were announced. 

Scavenger Hunt WinnersThe first place prize of a $200 gift certificate to The Mall at Steamtown was awarded to Bridget Hanley, a freshmanfrom East Islip, N.Y., and Breana Fitzpatrick, a freshman from Florham Park, N.J. Second place went to Bob Law, a junior from Lansdale, and Kate Lazorko, a junior from Philadelphia. Third place was a tie between two teams: Deanna Russo, a freshman from Hillsborough, N.J., and Chris Peticca, a freshman from Franklin Lakes, N.J.; and Shannon Lavis and Elisa Giusto, sophomores from Scranton.

Following the awards presentation, students were encouraged to continue their downtown exploration at First Friday, a monthly art-walk event that takes place throughout the city. 

The scavenger hunt was one of several new initiatives planned by the University’s Community Relations Office to better familiarize students with the city. Other events included a downtown tour and dinner for Resident Assistants in August.  Coming up is Family Weekend, from Sept. 30 through Oct. 2, which will have a downtown focus with restaurants offering discounts and specials, and College Night First Friday Oct. 7, featuring student groups from several Lackawanna County colleges performing at downtown venues.

Scavenger HuntIn coordinating the downtown Scavenger Hunt, the Office of Community Relations partnered with the Center for Student Engagement, the University’s Small Business Development Center as well as First Friday Scranton, the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce and Scranton Tomorrow.  Sponsors included: Diversified Information Technologies, The Mall at Steamtown, Penn Security Bank & Trust, PNC Bank, Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel, Tobyhanna Federal Credit Union and Wells Fargo.