Illustration by Alex Nash

Word play game takes campus, world by storm

The go to Wordle starter for Flay Toulance ’22, founder of the Wordle Enjoyers Engaged with Devotion (WEED) club, is “FARTS.”

“Statistically, ‘FARTS’ is not only a high probability guess, but it also gives you a quirky anecdote you can tell at a house show, on a Bumble date or even at your grandma’s birthday party,” Toulance said.

Wordle is a web-based game created by Josh Wardle that gives players around the world six chances to guess one five-letter word every single day. The tiles will turn green to tell you a letter is correct, yellow to tell you the letter is right but in the wrong place or dark gray to tell you that you are a failure. The Wordle craze has taken Lewis & Clark by storm, no surprise given the prevalence of dopamine-seeking students obsessed with crocheting and walks.

According to Mary Ganya ’24, who serves as treasurer, WEED is just as much about seeking community as it is to play a word game. Her starting word is “JOINT.”

“If I’m being honest, we wanted to make it seem like we did more than just go on our ‘nightly walks’ to the gazebo to chill out and hang,” Ganya said. “Yes, we play Wordle. But also, yes, we fudge our club funding a little to cover that Oregon dispo tax.” When asked to clarify what “dispo” refers to, all club members declined to comment.

WEED meets every night to attempt the daily puzzle together. During each meeting, members try to get the elusive five green letters and celebrate their wins as a group. 

“I was honestly very confused why club meetings for a word game club started at 8:00 p.m. by the Maggie’s stairs,” Julie Newone ’23 said. “Now I get it, and why this is the most popular game on campus. Seeing everything turn green with my club members by my side puts me in high spirits every time.”

The only other spot on campus that is more popular at 8 p.m. is the bus stop by the graduate campus. This is the meeting place for the Celibacy to Inspire God (CIG) club, which is the only other club more popular than WEED.

The New York Times recently purchased Wordle, promising to not monetize the website for at least the first hour. Toulance said the club is prepared for this possible setback.

“We are fully prepared to reimburse students’ Wordle subscription fees, if need be,” Toulance said. “Even if it comes down to selling extra brownies at our monthly baked sales. WEED will always be on campus.”

Ganya agrees and said that she will use the complete authority that she possesses as treasurer to ensure students equitable access.

“Hey, it would not be the first time I misrepresented financial documents,” Ganya said. “I am prepared for the worst. Also, we have full support from our club advisor.”

Art Department Chair Sequoia Cayenne Hope-Smith recently took on the faculty advisor role for the WEED club. Hope-Smith is a long time Scrabble fan and Oregon Measure 91 proponent. Toulance asked if she would advise the club after seeing Hope-Smith share the wrong window during Zoom class, disastrously spoiling that day’s Wordle for the whole class.

“I deeply resonate with these kids and their passion for word games,” Hope-Smith said. “It feels as if I have known WEED for decades.”

WEED is planning to collaborate with the Co-Op later this month for a Wordle-inspired improv poetry night. All poems that night will be improvised based on the Wordle for that day. For more information, go to the SOA Lawn and just whisper “weed.” The appropriate club members will connect you to the Proactive  Legalization  Union Group (PLUG).

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