Hall Wars turnout lower than expected

Adelia Couser

Although 32 teams pre-registered for Sigma Phi Epsilon’s Hall Wars on Sunday, Sept. 29, only 17 teams went to compete in the battle between freshmen and sophomore residence halls to raise money for AIDS Project New Haven.

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Commons won and also competed with Irma/Dana and the Village residence halls.

The event raised money for AIDS Project New Haven, a non-profit organization that supports individuals infected with and affected by AIDS. The organization provides transportation and educational services for the individuals and also works to increase public awareness of AIDS and promote prevention.

Chris Cole, the director of AIDS Project New Haven, came to the event to raise awareness and speak to participants about the organization’s mission.

In order to participate in Hall Wars, freshmen and sophomores were required to register teams of at least 10 students on the event’s website. The teams participated in competitions of soccer, volleyball, hot shots, kickball and an obstacle course. The final four participated in a dodgeball tournament, and the final three competed in a relay race.

Sigma Phi Epsilon Philanthropy Chair Connor Croteau was primarily in charge of setting up Hall Wars and keeping in touch with the event’s six sponsors. He says that while he was somewhat disappointed by the turnout, he believes that this year’s Hall Wars went better than he expected.

“We generally stuck with what we’ve done in past years,” Croteau said. “We did add sophomore teams so we could have more involvement.”

In the past, Sigma Phi Epsilon has worked with Residential Life to put together Hall Wars, but this year Residential Life refused to co-sponsor the event. According to Croteau, this was because they did not want to show support for only one Greek life organization.

“Their absence in cosponsorship put a damper on the event without RA participation,” Croteau said.  “Before, Hall Wars was required for freshmen and RAs would make teams; this year it was optional for them to do so. It was unfortunate that not many freshmen got to appreciate Hall Wars this year and experience the legacy that prior classes had the opportunity to experience.”

Last year 48 freshmen teams registered for Hall Wars and were all present at the event.

The lower turnout was noted by this year’s participants.

“It wasn’t as big as I thought it would be,” said Maddie Harder, a Commons freshman whose team experienced a lot of free time during the event due to a lack of competitors.

Since 15 teams failed to attend Hall Wars, the teams in attendance sometimes found themselves without an opponent during various competitions. In these situations, the team won by default and were not required to play the game.

Many teams divided themselves up and played against their own teammates so they had something to do during the 20-minute stretch of time.

Sophomore Connor Stevenson from the Village said that his team won two of the five games by default.

“I wish there was more competition,” said Stevenson, who participated in last year’s Hall Wars. “This year there were a lot less teams.”

Harder believes the low attendance rate was due to the fact that the event began at 8 a.m.

“I think the event should have started later so that people would actually get up and come,” said Harder, who had walked around knocking on her teammates’ doors at 7:30 that morning to wake them up.

Croteau said that next year the fraternity will try to start Hall Wars later.

Despite the lower attendance and lack of competition, a majority of the students at the event said they would be willing to attend next year’s Hall Wars.

“I thought it was fun,” Harder said. “My favorite part was bonding and meeting new people.”