July 23, 2007

Ultimate Saluki Challenge applications available

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Are you the Top Dawg? Twenty Southern Illinois University Carbondale students will vie for the honor when they compete in the second annual Ultimate Saluki Challenge. Entry in the "Survivor" style competition is now open to SIUC students in good academic standing.

Beginning at 3 p.m. Sept. 28, and continuing until 10 p.m. Sept. 30, contestants will find themselves "stranded" on campus, primarily at Campus Lake Beach but also at Touch of Nature Environmental Center and the Student Recreation Center. Divided into two "tribes" of 10 each, they'll need to band together to carve out an existence with just two tents, three boxes of Saltine crackers and five gallons of water. The guest host for the 52-hour Ultimate Saluki Challenge is Mike Skupin of "Survivor-Australia" fame.

As in the popular television competition, challenges allow winners to earn special luxuries. Every few hours, a tribal council secret vote will eliminate one contestant. When just two contestants remain, the nine most recently eliminated "dawgs" will return to choose the Ultimate Saluki. The Ultimate Saluki wins a prize package including a $500 book scholarship, two tickets and hotel accommodations for the Missouri Valley Conference basketball tournament in St. Louis, and more.

"We are really excited about this awesome event," said Lynne Thompson-Cundiff, fitness coordinator for Recreational Sports and Services at the recreation center. "It's a great way to get involved, have some fun and challenge yourself. It's the perfect opportunity to see if you have what it takes to be The Ultimate Saluki."

Applications for the Ultimate Saluki Challenge are due no later than 9:30 p.m. Sept. 12 at the information desk at the Office of Recreational Sports and Services on the recreation center's second floor, or no later than 4:30 p.m. that day in the Student Programming Council office on the third floor of the Student Center. Eligibility requirements, the application and other required forms and additional information are online at www.siuc.edu/rss. The Web site also features a link to the YouTube video montage of last year's inaugural Ultimate Saluki Challenge in which 10 people competed for the title.