The yellow rubber ducks were not all identical – some ducks were in mermaid or superhero costumes, and others were in sport, hobby-related or patterned outfits. Ducks were placed all over the Student Union from benches to windows, to tables and even railings. Could they be in the Student Union marketplace? What about in the SU mall? Under a cushion in one of the lounges? On the Student Union terrace? The Student Union hosted the annual “Great Rubber Duck Hunt,” where students were given the task to find a yellow rubber duck to win a prize on Mar. 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“The Rubber Duck Hunt is just an event that we put on once a year, just to get students into the Student Union to walk around to see the different spaces and give out prizes,” Jamie Larkin, the business coordinator of the SU and organizer of the Duck Hunt, said. “It’s a pure fun event that we like to sponsor.”
The Student Union also hosted the event last spring before the campus shut down, which makes it the fifth consecutive year the Student Union has hosted “The Great Rubber Duck Hunt,” according to Larkin.
“We’re putting in the same safety measures as last year, having gloves available and lots of sanitizers,” Larkin said. “I think this year, if anything, people have more of a choice with their prizes, while in the past they were given a random prize. We also shortened the time span. Last year it was from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., this year it was 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – kind of a more condensed event.”
“It was easy, but I don’t think I would change that. It’s just fun because they’re really everywhere and it gives more of an opportunity for everybody to see the ducks,” Valerie Valdivia, an eighth-semester student double majoring in psychology and human development and family sciences, said.
Valdivia said she had helped plan for this event. She added that really enjoyed participating in the rubber duck hunt for a couple of years now and even asked her friends to join in on the hunt.
Although it wasn’t his first time attending the Duck Hunt, Christopher Huynh, an eighth-semester mechanical engineering student said it was still a fun event that the Student Union put together. Students simply needed to find one duck and bring it to the North lobby in the SU to be able to pick a prize. No sign-ups were required, but each student could only take one duck to ensure fairness. Students had choices between phone accessories, a pair of socks or a water bottle. In addition to a prize and keeping their duck, students are also entered into a $250 raffle for the UConn bookstore.
“It was my first time, I got some free socks and a Powerade,” Francis Saint Mary, a sixth-semester economics major, said. “ It was very fun, I got a basketball duck and I like basketball.”