George Washington University will host the world’s most epic game of red light/green light this weekend, organized by Jewish Women International and the fraternity Zeta Beta Tau to raise awareness about sexual assault. Nicholas Carr, president of the university’s ZBT chapter, says he hopes DC can beat the current Guinness World Record of the 1,136 participants who played the popular childhood game in January in Phoenix, Arizona.
“I want to pass the record, but I don’t want it to be 1,200. I want to make sure no one is going to beat this record again,” Carr says, estimating the event will draw about 1,500 people. “This is going to be written in the history books, and they’re going to say why we did this.”
The organizers hope the event will start a conversation about the importance of consent on college campuses. According to a study released in September by the Association of American Universities, more than 20 percent of undergraduate women said they were victims of sexual assault or misconduct this year.
Carr sees the game as an opportunity to educate the public about the issue. “It’s about igniting that national conversation about what’s happening on college campuses,” he says, “and addressing the social norms that are allowing sexual assault to happen.”
To do so, this special game will include the traditional rules—run on a green light, start over if you move on red—as well as some new ones. When the guide yells “yellow light,” students must ask the person next to them for permission to move forward.
The event begins at 3 PM on Saturday, October 24, but before then, Carr has to make sure everything is up to Guinness’s standards. Entrances and exits must be filmed. Photos and video of the event will provide evidence for the reference book—and witnesses must sign affidavists confirming the facts and figures.
The event is free and open to the public, and supporting groups—including It’s On Us, No More, PAVE, and Men Can Stop Rape—will have information tables on hand. Donations and T-shirt sales will go toward a fund supporting safe and healthy relationships.
Green Light, Go! will take place on George Washington University’s University Yard on October 24 at 3 PM.