Pretend shots echoed in the Wilkinson Terrace on Valentine’s Day that left bodies lifelessly scattered on the floor while students stared in bewilderment. Within minutes, all signs of the showdown vanished, but the mobsters have plans to strike again on Friday.
The BYU Flash Mob, organized by students, will assemble somewhere on BYU campus at 2 p.m. on Friday with a burst of spontaneity sure to nudge a smile from spectators. With more than 300 members, the mob is growing in popularity as lucky students discover “train tickets” to join the mob, hidden in random places throughout campus. This recruitment process has delighted students as their college experience now holds an impulsive side.
Caitlin Beer, a junior from Plymouth, Mich., majoring in theater arts education, said she found a train ticket in a book and has had many memorable flash mob experiences since then. Her first mob included a zombie flash mob in the Cougareat. Beer said people would either laugh or stare incredulously at them. She said these reactions are always a highlight.
“I really love performance art and doing crazy things,” Beer said. “This is something that’s not usually in my schedule and is a diversion that I find entertaining and fun.”
David Wall is from South Jordan and is majoring in Middle Eastern studies. He discovered his train ticket at a water fountain in the Knight Building. One of his favorite flash mobs happened in the Cougareat when a group of students wore fake mustaches while eating lunch. Wall said these diversions add an extra element of fun to his otherwise typical day.
“It’s something spontaneous that draws everyone’s attention and allows us to escape from our world for a time,” Wall said. “I can be stressing over a test and take 15 minutes out of my day to do a flash mob that makes people smile.”
Mehlanie Kayra, a senior majoring in wildlife wildlands conservation, witnessed the flash mob on Valentine’s Day. Kayra said she was surprised and excited to watch students duel on tabletops and duck beneath chairs.
“It’s always fun to watch people do something hilarious and then walk away like it never happened,” Kayra said.
Michael Robison, a sophomore from Kent, Ohio, majoring in genetics, said the Valentine’s Day mob was the first time he had participated with this BYU group. Robison said he likes the idea behind the flash mob and enjoys watching the reactions of bystanders during the performance.
“I’m not sure you know what to think when you see a flash mob,” Robison said. “It just happens and then everyone runs away. You can’t really plan to see these things because that’s the point. You provide a quick entrance and then poof, it’s gone.”