The University of Chicago will host the first ever Hyde Park Hunt from October 5–10, allowing first-year students to familiarize themselves with local businesses by solving a series of clues related to stores, restaurants, and other establishments in Hyde Park.
The competition takes place starting October 5, with final judging on the 10th from 4:30–5:30 p.m. at the Chicago Innovation Exchange on 53rd Street. Afterwards, participants can take advantage of discounts at local restaurants as part of 53rd Street’s Second Saturday Dine Around event.
Second-year Gregory Sun developed the idea for the Hyde Park Hunt. He explains, “I got a lot of information about how to navigate the campus and downtown during O-Week last year…but I found that I still didn’t know how to get around Hyde Park, which is a shame, so I wanted to give people this opportunity to discover the neighborhood.”
The Hunt will be run through an app that Sun developed with the help of friends outside the University. The app provides participants with clues for items that can be found at certain businesses in Hyde Park and then prompts them to either take a creative picture or answer a trivia question about the clue’s location. Students form teams within their houses, which Sun hopes will encourage interaction between house members.
Sun collaborated with Amy Williams, the marketing communications manager for commercial real estate operations at the University. Williams works with many Hyde Park businesses, mainly on 53rd Street. Businesses have contributed prizes in the form of gift certificates for all participants, and the first place team will win a prize basket. “A lot of the businesses are really excited because they love any opportunity to…reach out to the students,” Williams said.
Sun and Williams have been careful to keep the Hunt separate from the University’s better-known scavenger hunt, Scav, which takes place at the end of the school year. “We’ve tried to make it clear that they have nothing to do with each other,” Williams explained. “It’s a different animal, really just intended to be a fun thing for the students to get to know the neighborhood.”