Successful and scandalous, the ANU Challenge Club once held boozy parties, ran spectacular ANUSA joke tickets, and issued crazy challenges to students until its disappearance in 1997. Woroni sources have confirmed that this semester the Club is being re-created.
The club had previously collapsed after the legendary Pencil Rort, in which members were challenged to collect branded pencils from Casino Canberra. After students started leaving with stuffed bags, police were called, arrests made, and several challengers faced criminal charges; the Challenge Club fell apart and was non-existent for 20 years. But now, a group of anonymous students are attempting to re-launch the Challenge Club, led by the secretive re-founder of the Club, who goes by ‘The Maharaja’.
The Maharaja’s vision for the new Challenge Club is somewhat different from the old. They wish to preserve the same basic ethos: Challenge the students, and in so doing, challenge the status quo.
“I was inspired”, the Maharaja said, “to help recreate the challenge club, by some of the jokes and references on Stalkerspace; … I thought it would be cool to have a club giving out crazy challenges.” This bringing back of the old includes the boozy culture surrounding the Challenge Club, and the Maharaja noted that while the anonymous leadership of the Club would make it difficult, they expressed a commitment to “make it happen.”
The Maharaja seemed excited about the prospect of issuing challenges for students, yet was apprehensive about the potential consequences. When asked how subversive challenges might be, they responded, “How far boundaries are pushed is not something I can control”.
The Challenge Club now has a Facebook page with a growing following, and according to the Maharaja will soon start issuing challenges. When pressed to reveal anything about the challenges, all they would say was “Keep an eye out for… unusual clothing.”