On Sept. 9, Quinn Hester, otherwise known as u/MSPaintCPP on Reddit, decorated a rock and hid it somewhere on the Cal Poly Pomona campus for other students to find.

Hester, a first-year visual communication student, started the scavenger hunt as a way to bring rays of positivity to campus.

“I started a group on Facebook a couple years back in my town. It was called ‘Claremont CA Rocks’ and it caught on for a short period of time,” Hester said. “I’ve had that idea in my head since then, and when I joined the Cal Poly Pomona Subreddit, I saw that there was a lot of negative stuff being talked about …. It caught on [here at CPP] pretty much immediately, and here we are.”

The rock is decorated colorfully, with half the rock painted green and the other half painted yellow, and has a pair of googly eyes and a drawn-on mouth and eyebrows.

Just recently, the rock was named “Dwayne.”

“It was a name voted on by the CPP Reddit community, so naming it was a group effort; I think it’s a pretty fitting name,” Hester said. “I’m fairly sure the name is based on Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.”

About every two days, Dwayne is found, and it is the responsibility of the finder to re-hide the rock and post hints on Reddit for another person to find.

Hints can include a variety of helpful clues, ranging from comments to posts to even photos of the rock with a blurred background.

There is no limit to the amount of hints that Dwayne’s hider can give, but “it never takes more than three [hints] for the detectives of Cal Poly to find the rock,” Hester said.

First-year psychology student Ermel Twano found Dwayne on Oct. 7 for the first time.

“I didn’t expect it to become such a popular game, but surely enough, I joined in the game and found the rock [and then] hid the rock,” Twano said.

Ermel Twano poses with Dwayne the rock, after finding it through clues from Reddit. (Courtesy of Ermel Twano)

On Oct. 11, Reddit user and third-year chemistry student u/Em_in_chem finally found Dwayne in the Kellogg West Hotel.

“I’d looked around, and even knew a few places it had been hidden before, but never got to it on time,” said Em_in_chem, who didn’t want her real name to be used. “On a whim, I went up to Kellogg West and asked the front desk attendant if she knew where I could find the carpet in the picture [from the hint]. She pointed me to the hotel rooms on the hill, and after wandering around I found Dwayne in the only potted plant in the whole building.”

Finding the rock is an accomplishment for students. It adds a little laughter and fun to an otherwise stressful school day.

“[Dwayne] has all these sweet messages written on the back from [Hester, and it says things] like ‘Have a good day’ type of stuff,” @Em_in_chem said. “I think the Redditors of Cal Poly like Dwayne more than Billy as a mascot at this point.”

The rock hunt has become a well-liked “hide-and-seek” game and there are already plenty of participants.

For searchers, it’s an enjoyable, stress-relieving activity and everyone at CPP is encouraged to join in on the scavenging fun.

For more information on the rock hunt, visit Cal Poly Pomona’s subreddit at r/calpolypomona.

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