I will never forget watching two Galloway guys wrestle beside a huge fire with dozens of spectators cheering them on.
As an outsider of Galloway, I always held my own stereotype of the dorm. I probably gathered my opinion from daily walks past the dorm, the round table its residents crowd around during meals at SAGA, or their most well known tradition: Feast. Either way, it is hard to deny that Galloway has a unique dorm culture among the residences at Hillsdale College.
I often heard people talking about Feast. I even witnessed it as I trudged down the hill after a full day, or I watched a bunch of guys run past while I studied in the Heritage Room. Every Thursday at 10:00 pm, residents of Galloway hang out behind the dorm, rain or shine, and grill hot dogs and hamburgers together, shirtless.
I believed Feast was just one more dorm event consisting of guys goofing off, so I was in for a shocker after attending Feast for myself. Between seeing the actual events of the weekly tradition and my conversations with Galloway’s head RA Christian Betz, I was struck by the intentionality and purpose of the event.
“Feast is a weekly event at the dorm that brings people together, gives them a chance to blow off some steam, have some fun, and eat some good food,” Betz said. “It is really about the community of the dorm coming together outside of academics or on campus. It is an interesting way to get to everyone in the dorm together other than forced participation in the halls or interactions with your RAs, and it’s been something I have always looked forward to on a regular basis.”
Participation in Feast ranges from freshmen to seniors. Freshman Callister McKay and Senior Rowan Macwan both regularly attend Feast.
“It is one of those consistent things that you can measure your week around, but you can also go and consistently have a good time,” Mckay said.
Macwan said he feels the same way about Galloway’s ritual.
“Feast is amazing. It has been one of my favorite parts of the week since I was a freshman. The people who want to be at Feast are at Feast, and it makes it very special,” Rowan said.
The Feast culture begins for freshmen right away with a mandatory dorm-wide Feast.
“My first participation in Feast was in the fall of 2016 when I first came in,” Betz said. “We have what is called Gentlemen, Heroes, Scholars on Sunday night, which is our induction into the dorm where each hall has to do something gentlemanly, scholarly, and heroic. We vote on it and they get the first burgers at Feast.”
Benett Nichols was one of the freshmen who took part in Feast at the beginning of last semester, and he decided to stick around.
“At first I thought it was weird because it was dudes with their shirts off. And then we were forced to run around, and I thought it was kinda cool, chilling with the boys around a campfire,” Nichols said. “I think it builds community. I honestly don’t think I would talk to people on my floor if it wasn’t for Feast.”
For many, the best part of Feast is taking part in the legendary run around campus. These runs usually occur around the quad with frequent sprints through Lane and Kendall. As I learned, the shirtless guys often decide to run through A.J.’s on special occasions.
It is a common sight to see the pack of shirtless guys running in a huddled mass holding up a speaker and shouting the words to “It’s Raining Men.” Many of the boys take part in this run shirtless no matter the weather to show their dorm spirit.
Adam Stacey, a sophomore, is the usual leader of such runs.
“It’s just a fun time to hang out with everyone and see people in a non-school setting,” Stacey said. “It’s fun to annoy everyone running around campus with our shirts off.”