They came, they saw, Dana conquered. The highly anticipated 2008 Hall Wars have come to pass, and they certainly did not disappoint. On Saturday, September 13, rival teams from Ledges, Commons, Irma, and Dana, came together to compete in various games and contests. Amongst the raffle table, the cotton candy, the dunk tank, and the massage tables, and the endless competitive events, one question remained on everyone’s mind: Who will win the fourth annual Sigma Phi Epsilon Hall Wars?
At ten a.m. the Quad was flooded with players from each dorm. Ledges wore red; Irma wore blue; Commons wore orange; and Dana wore green. Team spirit ran rampant throughout the groups: some teams had their faces painted or sprayed their hair with temporary color dye while others altered their shirts and wore matching bandanas. Ledges entered the Quad together jogging and chanting. It was a fusion of color, excitement and celebration.
What exactly is Hall Wars? Yes, players compete against each other to ultimately win a trophy bragging rights among the other freshmen. However, there is more to Hall Wars than a spirited rivalry between dorms. Halls Wars raises funds to support Youth Aids. Dan Hynes, Philanthropy Chair of Sigma Phi Epsilon, spoke about the work of this organization. He explained that Youth Aids is established in many countries around the world, helping to prevent the spread of AIDS and HIV. Youth Aids places much of its focus on spreading awareness and teaching prevention techniques, especially in third world countries. Although setting up Hall Wars is stressful, Hynes says that it is worth it because it raises so much money for the charity. When asked what is different between this year’s Hall Wars and the wars of previous years, Hynes replied,
“This year is the biggest than previous years.this is the highest freshmen interaction I’ve seen. I’m pumped up.”
Hynes attributed this success to a collaborative and cooperative effort among many university organizations, including Residence Hall Council and Student Diversity Board.
The activities of the day included everything from team sports to relay races.
The competition opened with Gladiator, one of the more zealous games of the day, win which players battled against each other on a giant blue and yellow blow up combat ring. The object of the game was to knock the opponent off of his or her pedestal while maintaining balance on a pedestal of their own. Gladiator became quickly became an intense competition. Participants fought hard and their supporters cheered harder. Irma “Westside” definitely stood out amongst the crowd, yelling at the top of their lungs, banging on the ring side and cheering for their teammates. The team spirit never faltered.
With balls flying and grounders rolling, kickball was another interesting and exciting game. At first, kickballs kept heading towards the water, disrupting the flow of the game. . Nothing, however, could stop the players from producing great kicks and awesome catches. Strategies differed among the teams. Some delivered powerful kicks, while others threw punts into the mix. Alexa Griffin, an Irma teammate, claimed that her team was undefeated at this point, and had high hopes for victory.
Soccer games took place behind the Echlin Center. In this competition, victory was earned by either being the first teams to score three goals, or the team to score the most goals in twenty minutes. Meanwhile, intense volleyball and hot shots competitions were underway in the recreation center. In volleyball, the first team to twenty-five points was declared the winner. In hot shots, a team had to shoot baskets from various spots that represented different point values. The team that had the most points in a set time won. The time limits in this game and others added to the pressure and excitement of the participants.
When posed with the question, “Why did you join Hall Wars?” participants responded in their own ways. Alysha Andrews, member of the Commons team “Libby’s Assassins,” said,
“I joined to have a good time and to show school pride. Also, I wanted to meet new people.”
Nia Blackmon, a Dana player from the team “Jumping for Joyce,” said,
“It’s a good way to spend the day and to bond with floor mates.”
Whatever their reasons for joining Hall Wars, it was apparent that everyone was having fun and giving their best effort.
At 1:00 p.m. teams were given a much-needed break for lunch. A delicious barbeque was available for just $4.00, and many tables were set up with different goodies to purchase for $1.00 each. Kappa Alpha Theta made funnel cakes, a very popular snack, while Alpha Chi Omega provided popcorn, cotton candy, and sno-cones to their hungry patrons.. Phi Sigma Sigma also held a bake sale with an assortment of delights. All of the proceeds from these sales were to benefit Youth Aid. Besides all the delicious food for sale, individuals could also pay $1.00 for three balls at the dunk tank. Some participants were way off when throwing; with some rogue balls even cracking a nearby Tator Hall window. Yet others were spot on, much to the dismay of whoever was perched on the collapsible seat at the time. Another prominent and popular feature was the massage station, where a number of Physical Therapy students offered free five-minute massages to weary participants in order to relax them and help loosen tense muscles. Throughout the day, everyone players and spectators mixed and mingled while enjoying great music, fun activities, and beautiful weather.
After lunch, competition resumed with the two most highly-anticipated events of the day: dodge ball and the tug-o-war. These games were part of the semi-finals, with the top teams from each dorm competing fervently against each other. The Tug-of-war was a fiery battle; as loud and proud supporters rallied around their teammates, jumping, hollering and chanting. Everyone was undeniably riled up. During the dodge ball competition, heated disputes broke out over who was out and who was in, time limits on throwing the dodge balls, and whether or not the referees were judging fairly. One of the highlights of dodge ball was when Matt Horn, an Irma player, was the last one standing for his team. It seemed like he would never get out, no matter how hard his Dana opponents tried. Finally, Matt was taken out, but not because of a lack of effort.
Matt asserted, “It’s tough when your entire team is out, but you gotta stick it through.”
After a long day of intense competition, the final event of the day arrived: a relay race. The event began with players hopping towards their waiting teammates in a sack race. After being tagged, the next set of players competed in a fierce human wheelbarrow race. The next person tagged had to put his or her forehead on a baseball bat and spin around until the judges said they could go forward attempting to walk towards the next station. Finally, two members from each team were tied together for a three-legged race. It was a close race, but in the end Ledges won the relay, gaining fifteen valuable points.
When the race finished, tension was high. Who won Hall Wars? Would Commons hold on to their dynasty for another year? Did another team finally triumph over them? Everyone cheered in eager anticipation, waiting to hear to results. In fourth place with forty-nine points was Commons, the former champions finally defeated.. In third place with fifty-seven points was Ledges. Everyone seemed to hold their breath, waiting to hear the final results. In second place was Irma with sixty-one points. At last, in first place, winning the glory and the highly-coveted trophy was Dana with seventy points! An explosion of cheers broke out and the elated Dana players were doused with buckets of water. After a long day of fierce competition, exciting activities and excellent teamwork, all in the name of philanthropy, Dana came out on top. While the other teams may have been disappointed, there was no doubt that fun was had by all who participated. The 2008 Hall Wars were a huge success!