Easter: a holiday when one celebrates Jesus’ triumph over death, laughs with family, and eats an unholy amount of chocolate eggs and bunnies. It’s a time of fellowship and contentment with loved ones.
Easter at Hillsdale College is no different. Even as many students take off for home over Easter weekend, the freshness and comfort of Easter seep into its quiet dorms. People on the campus celebrate the resurrection with fellowship and good food, despite being away from home.
On the outskirts of campus, Waterman Residence has strived to bring the residents together for the past two Easters, making up for that lost family time over a fun springtime brunch.
“We’re having an Easter brunch after church on Sunday,” said Chloe Kookogey, the head RA of Waterman. “We’re all going to pitch in and help to cook an array of food and just spend time together celebrating Christ’s resurrection.”
Waterman does not have an official brunch tradition, but with at least three-quarters of their residents traveling home for the weekend, the remaining girls like to have something to bring them together.
“Last year, some of the girls put together an Easter dinner with their friends, and so they cooked all on their own,” Kookogey said. “It made the dorm feel so homey. ”
This year, the Waterman girls had a variety of ideas of what they want to cook to celebrate the Easter holiday: potatoes gratin, green beans, lots of fruit, and a special dump cake made by junior Katarina Bradford.
“Easter’s a really nice time to be on campus if you’re not able to go home,” Kookogey said. “It’s just quiet and you can hang out with friends and there’s not the pressure of classes.”
And the Waterman dorm is not the only place on campus to do something special for the light spring holiday. The Dow House– also known as the Paul House– decided to bring their residents together to celebrate.
Senior Sarah Schutte, the head RA of the Paul House, said that this dorm hasn’t done anything in the past, but this year, she wanted to change that by hosting an Easter egg hunt.
“Not like ‘oh, eggs and candy,’ ” Schutte added, “We’re going to do a scavenger hunt.”
The scavenger hunt was planned to take place all over campus and provide a little break for the girls to flex creative crafting muscles.
“We’re going to decorate the Easter eggs the day before,” said Schutte. “I have all kind of fun ideas of what we’re going to do for that.”
Like the Waterman girls, Schutte and the residents of the Paul House really want to have that fellowship even if they aren’t sharing it with their families.
“I thought it’d be really great to do something with the other girls because it is the day that you would spend with family normally,” she said. “So I’m trying to give them a little sense of that big community.”
Even Bon Appétit Management Company made plans to do something special for Easter, so all students on campus would have a chance to celebrate. Manager David Apthorpe says that the college has had a tradition of putting on a community brunch for Easter for more than ten years.
“We’ll see 300 or so community members come and join us in addition to the students who are still here,” Apthorpe said. “We have a more elaborate brunch. It’s prime rib and a few more upscale items, so it’s a full show.”
Families and residents from all over the city of Hillsdale, as well as students and faculty members, attend the brunch, mostly for the prime rib and the sense of community. Even the children who come to share in the event enjoy special activities.
“This year, we’re doing a kid’s Easter egg coloring, so we’ll have crafts and food for kids,” Apthorpe said. “It’s really a family-friendly event.”
The Waterman dorm brunch, the Paul House’s scavenger hunt, and Bon Appetit’s Easter meal were all great opportunities to get a sense of that fellowship that one would normally find in this springtime holiday. The Easter weekend is a short break, but the students and members of Hillsdale College strove to make the most of it with food, fun, and a sense of home.