Club & Greek

Elmwood Hall Takes the Gold

Thirteen Buildings Competed in this Year’s Olympic-Themed Battle of the Buildings

Students participated in an event-filled weekend with the Residence Hall Association (RHA) for the annual Battle of the Buildings from Friday, Sept. 20 to Sunday, Sept. 22. The thirteen buildings competed for three days to be named champion, and this year Elmwood Hall took home the gold.

Cedar Hall took second place and Beechwood Hall took third place.

The first night of various competitions included lobby decorating,  team banners, team cheers,, wing-eating contests, residence hall music videos, and best use of social media featuring the hash tags #BOTB and #MURHA.

The opening ceremony began in the Residential Quad from 7 to 8 pm which officially commenced Battle of the Buildings. Teams arrived to present their banners and cheers and were judged on a five-point scale. The winners of other Friday events were also announced.

A “lighting of the fire” formally declared the beginning of the weekend event.

Immediately following the opening ceremony was “Houseless Not Hopeless” which lasted from 8 pm to 6 am. A minimum of five students from each team slept overnight at this event on Shadow Lawn to help the Monmouth community. Activities for the night included stuffing backpacks, sewing blankets, making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Carlos Escarraman, freshman theatre arts major, knew about Battle of the Buildings by reading posters in his dormitory building. “I live in Elmwood Hall and there is just spirit all over the place,” said Escarraman.

Escaramman participated in Houseless Not Hopeless along with seven other Elmwood Hall residents, which was more than any other residence hall. “It was extremely humbling. Sleeping in a tiny house made out of cardboard was an amazing experience, and I will definitely be participating next year,” added Escaramman.

Saturday events started at 12 pm and included human battleship, a volleyball tournament, a scavenger hunt, and an Olympic trivia game during dinner. The day concluded with a dodgeball tournament in Boylan Gymnasium from 8 – 11 pm.

Garrett Brown, freshman communication major, participated in a game of volleyball in front of Elmwood Hall from 2 – 4 pm.

“The turnout for the [volleyball] event was good, but I expected a lot more people to get hyped about it. I especially didn’t like how the upperclassmen decided not to engage in the action,” said Brown.

Allie Phillips, junior and Resident Assistant (RA) in Oakwood Hall, said, “It is definitely difficult to get residents involved with on-campus activities, especially in residence halls that are not predominately freshman. As people get older they tend to not care about school spirit. The RAs try to be spirited to set an example.”

Brown was cheering on Cedar Hall throughout the weekend. “Everyone should get involved – it builds friendships,” said Brown.

The final day of events started at 12 pm on the Residential Quad. The day kicked off with field games such as corn hole, a water balloon toss, a hula hoop contest, and kan jam.

After the field games there was a soccer ball partner walk, water bucket contest, and a final relay which started with a wheel barrow race, led to a dizzy bat spin, and ended with a potato sack hopping contest. At around 1 pm, the annual tug of war commenced, followed by a game of human foosball.

The closing ceremony, which occured from 6 to 8 pm,  concluded Battle of the Buildings 2013.

The theme of this year’s Battle of the Buildings was Olympics, where each residence hall was categorized as a country. Countries included the United States of America for Mullaney Hall residents, Brazil for Beechwood Hall, France for Birch Hall, China for Cedar Hall, Canada for Elmwood Hall, Australia for Laurel Hall, Jamaica for Oakwood Hall, Guatemala for Pinewood Hall, Mexico for Redwood Hall, Germany for Spruce Hall, Italy for Willow Hall, Ireland for On-Campus Apartments, and Britain for Off-Campus Apartments.

Students were invited to tie-dye shirts to represent their country’s flag colors for the weekend event on Wednesday, Sept. 18 in the Residential Quad from 6 – 9 pm. A t-shirt was given in exchange for a nonperishable or canned good.

Krista Varanyak, junior and RHA president, said that this year’s turnout was better than expected and it could be due to the increase in the use of social media.

Varanyak said, “This year RHA became really active with social media. We created a Twitter and Instagram @MonmouthRHA and Facebook page ‘Monmouth RHA.’ That, along with the class Facebook pages, were a big part of advertising. We also worked with Residential Life and First Year Service Project.”

In addition to social media, RHA distributed flyers and sent emails to the University’s student community.

According to Danielle St. Vincent, sophomore and Vice President of Special Events and Programming for RHA, she and other executive members have been planning for this weekend event since May. Members would meet for at least three hours every week to discuss how the weekend of Battle of the Buildings would run.

“I love being in RHA. We have such awesome people involved, and it’s a great feeling to be involved with something on campus,” said St. Vincent who is involved in her second year with RHA.

The winner of Battle of the Buildings 2012 was Mullaney Hall and the year before that was Off-Campus Apartments.

RHA encourages students to become involved and help plan events such as Battle of the Buildings, Fall Fest, Winter Chill Out, Winter Ball, and the Spring Egg Hunt. Meetings take place every Wednesday at 8 pm in Mullaney Lounge.

Brown said, “I’m definitely going to participate next year! No matter what dorm I’m in, I’ll wear my colors proud because after all the events are over we are just one big community. We are Monmouth.”

PHOTO TAKEN by Brianna McCabe