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Timothy De Marcken, a 20-year-old UF mechanical engineering sophomore, attends the laser tag event at the Physics Building hosted by the Astronomy and Astrophysics Society, along with the Society of Physics Students, on Friday. The purpose of the event was to raise money for a conference this November.

Catherine Dickson / Alligator

Nicole Acosta leapt behind cardboard barriers in the lobby of UF’s Physics Building on Friday night, dodging opponents who aimed at her with infrared lasers.

“There’s no factor of pain, and the reload is easy,” the 20-year-old UF psychology junior said.

About 25 students ran around the Physics Building as part of a laser tag tournament put on by some student organizations, the Astronomy and Astrophysics Society and the Society of Physics Students. The groups hosted the first game of the Fall, which aimed to raise money for students to attend a November conference.

“The physics department is quite uneventful,” said Matias Delgado. “When the department found out someone wanted to host an event in the lobby, the Chair was shocked.”

The 22-year-old UF physics junior, who helped put together the event, said the organizations were able to use the space for free, but they needed approval from the university.

The goal of the event was to send four UF physics students to attend PhysCon!, a conference for students in California, he said.The two clubs plan to host two more laser tag events from now until the conference to help offset the costs.

Individuals paid $10 to participate and played in teams of three. Teams started at opposite ends of the lobby and ducked behind cardboard barriers as they tried to take each other out.

Acosta, a member of the winning Team Harambe, said she heard about the event from members in the UF Paintball Club. They decided to form a team and put their skills to use.

“We were running and squatting and sprinting,” she said. “It was definitely a workout.”

Members of the UF Paintball Club won the first game of the night. They moved in a tight formation, watching each other’s backs from oncoming attacks.

Alex Orta, the president of the club, said they showed up to win.

“We just wanted to go super hard core,” the 21-year-old UF biology senior said. “We slipped into small places and got the shot.”

Delgado said the space in the building is currently large enough for 12 people to play at once, but he’s hoping that once more students join in, the event will be able to upgrade to a bigger location.

“I’d like to go big,” he said. “I’m thinking the O’Connell Center.”

Saige Drecksler said it was her first time playing laser tag on campus. Drecksler, who was a part of Team Ram Pride!, said she enjoyed participating in the game with her friends.

“It was a ton of fun,” the 18-year-old UF aerospace engineering freshman said. “I would definitely come back to do it again.”

Catherine Dickson is the Metro Editor for the Independent Florida Alligator and a UF journalism senior. She has covered everything from Gainesville development to local activism. She is a coffee addict, '80s movie enthusiast and frequent beach goer.