Baruch College’s Filipinos Uniting Students in Other Nations hosted its sixth annual “Fear Factor” event on Oct. 12, with the Vietnamese Student Association taking the evening’s top prize.
This year’s theme was “The Jungle Baruch,” based on The Jungle Book, and had foods from different areas of the world. Students competed in teams and were challenged to eat the given foods as fast as possible before commencing to the next round.
F.U.S.I.O.N.’s president, Christian Laguatan, shared how excited he was for the event and revealed that the club had been planning this event for over a month. F.U.S.I.O.N.’s executive board played a major role in helping with the event, but the club also has an auxiliary board that helped plan.
Some of the cosponsors had participants in the event as well. According to Laguatan, this will be the anniversary of the club’s modern dance team, named Confusion. He had high expectations to have new members join this year.
On the day of the event, Baruch students crowded into the Multipurpose Room with excitement. Clubs were present to support their participating members, as well as students who were simply coming to enjoy the event itself.
There was a total of 10 teams competing, with four people on each team. Nine of the teams were from Baruch, but one of the teams was from the Filipino Intercollegiate Networking Dialogue, the networking dialogue of which F.U.S.I.O.N. is a member.
The first round of the competition started off with balut, a bird embryo, which is a Filipino street food. The round was split up into sub-rounds, with three or four teams competing per sub-round. Teams were eliminated after each interval, sometimes several per round.
The second round had beondegi, a Korean street food comprised of silkworm pupae. Competitors maintained their winning attitudes and went into the round at full force. Forks were being tossed aside as the silkworms became finger food. The competitors even began picking up their plates to allow the silkworms to fall straight into their mouths.
Fans were going wild watching their teams make the top five. With the end of the second round came the first intermission. The stage was cleared out as Confusion, came on. The audience’s cheers could be heard past the Multipurpose Room as the dancers began their routine. The dance consisted of group performances, as well as a few solos, keeping the crowd animated and fully attentive.
As the intermission came to an end, the third round began and tensions were beginning to grow. The food offered to the competitors was a red ant salad, originating from Thailand. Some teams ate the ants with ease, not even flinching at the taste.
However, competitors were having some trouble swallowing the ants and went through large amounts of water. At the end of the round, one more team was eliminated, leaving four teams to compete for one of the two spots in the last round.
The fourth round was crucial, as two teams would be eliminated. In an intense round of eating grasshoppers, a Mexican cuisine, two teams came out on top — Alpha Phi Omega and the VSA.
The second intermission came right after the fourth round and allowed guests to receive their own food. While the audience enjoyed its meal, the Archbishop Molloy Step Team took over the stage in different onesies. Their dance routine began and the music abruptly cut off, making the audience think the dance would be a flop. This was intentional, however, as the step team created its own beats and the real show began. The audience roared with excitement up until the very end of the performance.
Laguatan then took the stage and gave a speech thanking everyone. He went on to reveal F.U.S.I.O.N.’s fall apparel collection, called “The Dreamer Collection.”
He went on to speak about the recent Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals repeal and how F.U.S.I.O.N. is taking action. All proceeds from the collection would be donated to United We Dream organization. Laguatan finished the speech strong with the words: “We are dreamers, not criminals.”
The final round was set to begin and the last dish was revealed as a Japanese dish: bull penis. It was an intense final competition as both teams struggled to swallow the penis, but it was VSA that came out of the competition victorious.