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.