On Friday at Alumni Park, The Special Events Committee in collaboration with Zeta Phi Rho fraternity made 17,341 sandwiches and beat the Guinness World Record of most sandwiches made in an hour.
At least 20 different teams from varying organizations competed to make the most sandwiches and win the $500 gift card award. The meals were donated to Union Rescue Mission, Midnight Mission, and others to feed the homeless on Skid Row.
“One of the main goals other than making sandwiches was to make sure we could mobilize college students to do something good for the community and give them a reason to,” said Vincent Ong, a junior majoring in cognitive sciences and president of Zeta Phi Rho said. “That’s why we implemented the prizes. People like competition and gifts so we made the whole thing more interesting with the help of USC SEC.”
As SEC ’s mission is to push traditional boundaries and create memorable experiences for students, the committee thought attempting a world record could accomplish both.
“We decided on making sandwiches because one: the impact on the community and two: the feasibility of it,” said Director of Special Events Committee Kim Chu. “We had already started planning our event, and Zeta Phi Rho was planning their annual Zeta Phi “Skid” Rho event, back to back actually. We contacted them to work together because we both have the same mission, and why not combine forces of their expertise in making sandwiches — as they have done this for years — and our expertise in planning large scale events?”
Students from other campuses came as well to participate in this event.
“I’ve seen YouTube videos of this in the past and wanted to come out and support but there was conflict of schedule,” said Bryant Voong, junior majoring in math and science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “But being spring break [for him], it was the perfect opportunity to show face and help out. I thought the amount of people who came out was crazy and I thoroughly enjoyed making sandwiches.”
Evelyn Liu, a junior majoring in biological sciences and communications, noted at one point sandwich supplies ran low and thus encouraged student collaboration.
“Before the hour was up, we started to use up all the ingredients and at that point we started sharing ingredients with the other tables, ” said Evelyn Liu, a junior majoring in biological sciences and communications said. “Our goal at first was to beat the other teams, but with the short supply, we helped each other out to make sure the world record was broken. Our focus became more of the bigger picture.”
In the end, Chu noted that the event turned out to be quite the success. With over 17,00 sandwiches were made, the students came in three times greater than the previous record.
“I think the event went very well as there was an overwhelming number of participants,” said Kim Chu, a senior majoring in business administration and director of SEC said. “In previous years, Zeta Phi Rho has gotten about 100 people and we had just hoped to double that number — but there were over 400 today.”