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High stakes for student tribes in first Survivor-inspired competition

24 contestants. 10 weeks. $500 on the line. Survivor-Bloomsburg; you won’t want to miss it.
The starting 24 contestants of Survivor Bloomsburg. Photo taken by George Kinzel

Having premiered on Friday, February 2nd, at 8 p.m. in the Kehr Ballroom, Bloomsburg became the first university in Pennsylvania to host a Survivor-inspired game. George Kinzel, the director of student involvement, describes Survivor Bloomsburg as “a 10-week competition that features 24 Commonwealth University Bloomsburg students competing in challenges each week in tribes.”

Following the premiere, the competition will occur every Tuesday night from 7-9 p.m. for nine weeks. The competition will start with the contestants in four tribes competing against each other. After every week’s competition, the members of the losing team will vote on one castaway to eliminate from their team.

The challenges will take place at five different locations across the campus: the rec center, the Kehr ballroom, Nelson Field House, the Quest Woods, and the academic quad. The events occur rain or shine and will begin as team-building exercises to establish skills such as team communication, conflict resolution, critical thinking, and leadership. As the game goes on, the challenges will focus more on each castaway’s endurance, and pushing them to their own personal limit. When asked what the challenges might entail, Kinzel states, “a lot of the challenges will be mirrored against what you have seen on the TV show.”

Jacob Dill, a junior and the host of the show, encourages students to attend the challenges live, as he believes it will be “way different seeing it online than seeing it live.” Camden Wilson, a junior and the lead production assistant of the show, adds to this by stating, “our goal is to do Survivor, but our goal is also to let people watch Survivor live and we are making efforts to make it an enjoyable thing to watch.”

However, if you are unable to attend the events, students should go to the BU student involvement Instagram page (@bustudentinvolvement) for highlight reels, challenge recaps, elimination updates, and more.

George Kinzel, the director of student involvement, explains that this competition is different than the “official” Survivor show that airs on CBS since the contestants are not isolated from the world between challenges. This means that students can get support or advice from peers. Justin Geleskie, a clerical assistant in the student involvement department, chimed in on this as well, explaining that students will live their daily lives as normal between competitions. This gives castaways the opportunity to meet up with team members during the week to discuss strategy, form alliances, decide who to vote off, etc. which is something the castaways on the Survivor TV show cannot do. Geleskie and Kinzel both believe this will bring a new level of rivalry and intrigue to the show.

Here is the complete list of the castaways and their respective starting tribes:

LAKOTA Tribe (Black)

Brady Armstrong

Jack Holcombe

Marcus Vener

Jake Casella

Aidan Mateos

Lee Habalar

SHENANGO Tribe (Red)

Hailey Carter

Jolie Oakman

Alyssa Barnes

Katelyn Doebler

Claire Schmoke

Kloey Baney

OCTORARO Tribe (Orange)

Anthony Witczak

Hunter Ishler

Owen Zulli

Mark Wullert

Lauren Masser

Jay Maurer

KINZUA Tribe (Blue)

Kaden Harris

Ethan Sickler

Geoff Short

Caleb Brown

Joshua Holdredge

Alek Harkins


Here is the schedule for the rest of the semester.  All events are open for anyone to attend and watch:

Event Title Date Time Location Special Notes
Season Premiere (Episode # 1)


Friday, February 2, 2024 7pm – 10pm Kehr Student Union Ballroom
Episode # 2 Tuesday, February 6, 2024 7pm – 9pm Kehr Student Union Ballroom
Episode # 3 Tuesday, February 13, 2024 7pm – 9pm Kehr Student Union Ballroom
Episode # 4 Tuesday, February 20, 2024 7pm – 9pm Student Rec Center
Episode # 5 Tuesday, February 27, 2024 7pm – 9pm Kehr Student Union Ballroom
Episode # 6 Tuesday, March 5, 2024 7pm – 9pm Nelson Field House Pool, Upper Campus
Episode # 7 Tuesday, March 19, 2024 7pm – 9pm Quest Woods (Across street from Danny Litwhiler Baseball Field and to the right of the Orange Lot)
Episode # 8 Tuesday, March 26, 2024 7pm – 9pm Kehr Student Union Ballroom
Episode # 9 Tuesday, April 2, 2024 7pm – 9pm Student Rec Center
Episode # 10 Tuesday, April 9, 2024 7pm – 9pm Kehr Student Union Multi 345B
Season Finale (Episode # 11)


Thursday, April 18, 2024 7pm – 10pm Kehr Student Union Ballroom


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Maddie Bolger, Multimedia Journalist

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