West Linn’s “Survivor” has been permanently cancelled

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The remaining three competitors in last year’s “Survivor” attend the final elimination in front of the school. Janae Turner, far left, won the competition and a new MacBook.

To the dismay of many students, West Linn’s annual “Survivor” has been cancelled.

“The school district saw an opportunity with (Mills) as our new principal, and decided this was the year to enforce the ‘no sleeping at school’ rule,” Davis Hayter, senior ASB President, said.

Since 2005, West Linn has held a yearly mock version of the hit show “Survivor” for seniors. Students auditioned with videos, powerpoints and other demonstrations proving their worthiness as a competitor. The ten chosen seniors then slept at the school for a week, competing in daily challenges and eliminations. On the last day, Friday, the three remaining competitors would go into a final elimination at an assembly in front of the school, with the winner walking away with a brand new MacBook laptop.

“We could have done Survivor without sleeping at school, but that kind of takes the point away. We’re using this opportunity to do something different,” Hayter said.

Plans are still in the works, but in the spring there will most likely be a new “Lion Olympics” in which groups from each grade compete against each other during the day. This way, the event will include all grades and not pose as many safety risks. There will not be a grand prize, as admin also felt that Survivor’s prize was not always used in the way it was intended.

“Last year’s winner (Janae Turner, class of 2015) already had a MacBook. So she just sold it, which is not what we’re going for,” Hayter said.

Some students, however, are not convinced.

“I feel like the administration has let us all down as a senior class. I am heartbroken,” Joey Velasquez, senior, said. Velasquez had his Survivor audition planned for months ahead of time and even tried, unsuccessfully, to join last year’s event as a junior. “Survivor was one of our senior perks.”

Along with longer classes and starting school earlier than previous years, the cancellation of Survivor feels to Velasquez like an added crackdown for his class. “It feels like we’re losing what makes senior year fun,” he said.

ASB is quick to point though, that the cancellation of Survivor was not their decision.  

“We didn’t decide on [cancelling survivor], but we’re doing our best and I think something really fun could come out of it,” Hayter said. “But it’s something we all need to buy into. If everyone decides to get into it and allow it to be fun, it could be.”