Hillsdale College’s 100th homecoming could see a shift in the balance of power, as several residences that usually compete individually opt to team up instead.
In an unprecedented show of teamwork, all three sorority houses agreed to compete as a single team, rather than against each other. Benzing and Galloway residences joined forces, and Olds Residence reached out to freshmen living in Koon Residence. Although some said winning played a role in the decision to work together, others said they just want to promote campus unity.
Galloway and Benzing — “Gallo-Zing” — plans to challenge Simpson Residence’s half-decade of dominance of the annual homecoming competition, according to dorm leadership.
“We’re excited to win,” Benzing resident assistant junior Macy Mount said. “We want to have fun while we’re doing it, but we want to win.”
Teams collect points by performing well in events during homecoming week, which began Monday. Events include a banner design battle, a wing-eating competition, the Mock Rock dance off, and a new “Tacky Trophy” contest, which is replacing last year’s parade float competition. On Friday, participants will have two hours to build a trophy from given materials for the Alumni Board to judge.
Galloway RAs approached Benzing earlier this month to gauge their interest in forming a team.
“They make it so much fun because they’re all really pumped up, and they amp up the energy level,” Mount said. “You really need that to have a successful homecoming week.”
Kappa Kappa Gamma, Chi Omega, and Pi Beta Phi will compete together for the first time, as well, entering as “Kappa Chi Phi” to foster unity and friendship among the three houses and showcase the strength of the Greek system, representatives from the Panhellenic Council and the Kappa Chi Phi team said.
“I think it’s awesome for the Greek system because they always seem to be battling each other,” Director of Student Activities Anthony Manno said. “They take their competition seriously, so I’m very excited to see what they come up with.”
The idea to enter a unified sorority team came in response to tension among the sororities following highly competitive events during Greek Week and Derby Days, which pit the sororities against each other without giving the women a chance to collaborate across house lines, Panhellenic Council President senior Kelli Eddie said.
“The goal is primarily Greek unity,” Eddie said. “No other event throughout the school year allows us to work together in competition. I think this is really healthy for all three sororities.”
Representatives from the Panhellenic Council and the Kappa Chi Phi team said toppling Simpson’s reign is not their primary goal.
“Teaming up was not a strategic move,” Eddie said. “Maybe in certain events, it’s exciting to win, but overall, our goal is not just to beat everybody. It’s really just to bond together.”
Kappa Kappa Gamma Homecoming Rep. junior Maria Theisen agreed that the sororities teamed up to strengthen panhellenic friendships, regardless of the decision’s strategic implications.
“It wasn’t our goal to make this powerhouse team,” she said. “That was one of our concerns. We didn’t want independents to think we were ganging up on the other dorms because that genuinely was not the goal. The goal was to do something together, to compete together, and represent the Greek system as really strong.”
The fraternities opted to compete individually as usual, Interfraternity Council President senior Matt Vanisacker said.
“We tried to get everyone together, but there wasn’t enough interest,” he said.
Olds also registered individually, but since Koon is housing only seven freshmen this year, it invited them to join in addition to any interested Olds alumnae, Olds Head RA Emily Barnum said.
Homecoming results will be announced Saturday after Mock Rock.