Students to test limits at ISU Fear Factor

Sarah Haas

Nate Dobbels isn’t afraid of eating insects or animal brains, guts and intestines, which is why he is participating in the third-annual ISU Fear Factor on Friday.

The event is intended to attract students like Dobbels, freshman in agricultural engineering, who are interested in facing their fears.

Kyle Wiebers, sophomore in pre-business and special events coordinator for the Student Union Board, said the event will test various types of personal limitations and fears.

“We have one physical event, one scary, unusual event; and two to three eating challenges,” Wiebers said.

In order to put on such an event, Wiebers and his team began brainstorming challenges nearly two months ago.

A past participant helped Wiebers develop ideas.

“She loved being in the event last year and she brought in all of these ideas from a different perspective, so we worked together and built upon a lot of the ideas we had last year,” he said.

Weibers contacted Iowa State’s Office of Risk Management to ensure the safety of the participants.

“We started talking to risk management early in the process of deciding what events we could do and what we couldn’t do and what we think people would want to do,” he said.

Weibers said the process of choosing events was “hard and tedious” because Weibers and his co-workers needed to pick challenges that not everyone will complete but don’t force too many students to refuse to participate.

“There’s definitely things that I think will be uncomfortable for some people, but we try not to make it that extreme,” Weibers said.

To help decipher what is commonly acceptable, Weibers asked his friends and colleagues if they would attempt particular tasks.

For Dobbels, fear will not be a factor.

“I’m a crazy person, so I’ll do anything,” Dobbels said.

“The only task that would gross me out would probably have to deal with snakes – I mean, I grew up on a farm, so I can basically eat anything and I’m OK with animals. But snakes – that’s a different story.”

This type of attitude held by the participants is what Wielders said makes the event worth attending.

“The most exciting part will be watching the reactions of the participants when we pull out all of the crazy stuff,” he said.

“The reactions of the participants last year were just so funny – they were just in shock, while the audience couldn’t stop laughing.”

The winner of ISU Fear Factor will receive a $300 gift certificate to Jordan Creek Mall in West Des Moines. The runners-up will also win prizes, such as an iPod Nano or gift cards to Best Buy, Target or Movies 12.

Dobbels said his personal motivation revolves around proving people, including himself, wrong – not the prizes.

“I want to do what other people think I can’t do, and along the way I will accomplish more than what I think I can,” he said.

ISU Fear Factor is free for all students to attend.

ISU Fear Factor

When: 8 p.m. Friday

Where: Durham Great Hall of the Memorial Union

The event is sponsored by Student Union Board and ISU AfterDark