Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Flash mob gives pause in Ferg plaza


At precisely noon Monday in the bustling Ferguson Center and plaza, a number of students froze suddenly. They were suspended mid-stride, mid-bite and mid-sentence.

While other students looked on in confusion, the University’s first-ever freeze flash mob remained still for nearly four minutes then unfroze and continued on their way as if nothing unusual had just occurred.

“A flash mob is a group of people choreographed to do the same thing at a specific time in a specific place,” said Hayden Sloan, a junior majoring in photography and international relations.

Sloan organized the event using Facebook. About 200 of the 4,000 students invited to the Facebook event participated in the freeze.

“I thought I was going to be late, so I had to stop while I was running,” said Alicia Bretz, a freshman pre-med student. “My calf was hurting pretty bad in the end.”

Kimberly Mosher, a freshman majoring in marketing, was also caught by surprise.

“I was accidentally still talking on the phone,” she said. “I was disappointed because I wanted to do something sick.”

The flash mob received a variety of reactions from onlookers, ranging from utter confusion to frenzied clapping and cheering.

“I was on my phone when we froze,” said Ted Snow, a sophomore majoring in telecommunication and film. “Some girl was walking by and was like, ‘Oh, the texter!’ ”

One of the best was a girl who froze with a nacho halfway to her mouth, Sloan said.

“A few guys were posed half-way through high-fives, and people walking by slapped their hands,” she said.

Some observers posed for pictures with frozen students, while others simply poked them in bewilderment.

There was some great interaction going on, but there is some room for improvement next time, Sloan said. In the future, the flash mob may occur in a more concentrated area or have a designated starting sound to synchronize it better, though next time they may do another sort of mob besides a freeze.

“There are literally all kinds of flash mobs,” Sloan said. “The definition of a flash mob just falls flat. It can’t describe how epic or entertaining or fun it is, or how thrilling it is to be a part of it.”

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