Home­coming week is in full swing, and all across campus, dorms — and for the first time, a coalition of off-campus houses — are preparing for the grand finale on Sat­urday: Mock Rock.

With Simpson Res­i­dence cur­rently in the lead, the 18 com­peting teams still have two more events in the Home­coming com­pe­tition, in which one team will receive 200 points, and the team with the most cumu­lative points will be awarded the home­coming trophy.

The Off-Campus Coalition, a joint team of 14 off-campus houses with approx­i­mately 60 people par­tic­i­pating, will be the first team of its kind to compete in recent memory, since off-campus houses in pre­vious years have com­peted indi­vid­ually.

“One of the things we’ve got going for us is we have a lot of older stu­dents who have been around the block a lot, from all the dif­ferent dorms,” said junior and Off-Campus Coalition Leader Dietrich Bals­baugh. “We have a lot of resources available to do really well.”

Bals­baugh said the Off-Campus Coalition has been in the works since as far back as last semester, and he met with a few alumni at the beginning of the year to discuss potential strategies.

“All rev­o­lu­tions start very quietly. It started with a few of us, we started spreading the word around, not trying to be super noticeable, and then once we got here it was go time, it was time for the rev­o­lution to come out, and let campus know that Off-Campus would be rising again. Or rising for the first time, really,” Bals­baugh said.

The Coalition’s video sub­mission is meant to mimic the style of film­maker Wes Anderson, a favorite among Hillsdale stu­dents new and old.

“We’re going for a subtler, more rev­o­lu­tionary vibe,” Bals­baugh said.

Simpson Res­i­dence, which has won home­coming the past seven years, is hoping to achieve a win for their eighth year, though other dorms also plan to call this year their own. Simpson head res­ident assistant senior Josh Bailey said he thinks the increase of pressure to perform each year pro­vides all the houses with a healthy incentive.

“Every year the pressure is on for Simpson to outdo them­selves, and I think the pressure is also on for the rest of campus because every year they’re like, ‘No way this happens another year,’” Bailey said. “It just builds. But it’s cool in one respect, because all the teams are trying harder and harder to win, which means that the per­for­mance at every home­coming just gets better…And to see the level of com­pe­tition just go up throughout the time that I’ve spent here is pretty cool.”

Nied­feldt res­i­dence RA sophomore Nick Macaluso said as a smaller dorm, it can be hard to get enough people involved and enthu­si­astic about the com­pe­tition. Nev­er­theless, they are not com­bining with another dorm as in pre­vious years.

“Nied­feldt has two things going for it this year,” Macaluso said. “One is a very enthu­si­astic, ener­getic group of freshmen, and the other is a very cohesive RA team. It’s because of those two reasons we’ve decided to do home­coming as a dorm, rather than joining with a group, because it gives the res­i­dents a sense of own­ership over the projects.”

He added that the “com­pet­itive spirit” is just as prevalent in Nied­feldt.

“We would def­i­nitely like to see some new winners, espe­cially coming out of Mock Rock,” Macaluso said. “If blood does make the grass grow, we’d like Simpson to have a nice lawn.”

Prepa­ration for Mock Rock has occupied most of the dorms leaders’ time. Off-Campus Coalition has been prac­ticing for two hours a day for the past two weeks, Bals­baugh said, and Simpson and Mauckzing — Mauck and Benzing — also described spending the majority of their time preparing for that event.

“Those are the moments that make home­coming really worth it, seeing your team do well, and having it pay off for them. The first day of practice is always awkward…but then there’s that one day when people start to hit the notes, and it’s awesome,” Bals­baugh said.

Benzing res­i­dence head RA senior Molly Schutte called Mock Rock practice “a picture of what the week is sup­posed to be like” as a whole.

“We get together and we dance, and if we don’t like some­thing, then we talk about it and we change it and we have fun while we’re doing it,” Schutte said. “It’s really enjoyable.”

The Student Activ­ities Board, which con­ducts home­coming activ­ities, started planning the first day of the school year, according to senior Kendra Lantis.

“Home­coming is always on our mind,” Lantis said. “We specif­i­cally make a brief where we try to analyze every event, what could go wrong, how to prepare for the worst, and we del­egate events to our team members so we can all be more inten­tionally focused on our spe­cific events.”

SAB added a trivia night this year, which Lantis described as a move towards more objective com­pe­ti­tions in the future.

“It’s hard to find judges that are not biased, have the time com­mitment, and are just simply willing,” Lantis said, “but we’re very excited for the judges that we have and are thankful for them.”

Bailey said that for him, home­coming is ulti­mately about “devel­oping com­munity.”

“Everyone can remember their freshman year and how important it was to find that community…People should focus on that com­munity-building aspect and have a lot of fun with it. And get com­pet­itive, but don’t take it too far,” he said.