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Ren­o­va­tions to Gal­loway Res­i­dence fin­ished in time for stu­dents to return there this fall. Nolan Ryan | Col­legian

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.”