With the Off-Campus Coalition in the lead at 280 points, Spirit Week is approaching its climax. The 17 competing teams have two remaining competitions before Mock Rock on Saturday night. WhitWatWay, last year’s homecoming winner, is in second place with 215 points. Simpson residence is in third with 190 points.
OCC, which formed its coalition in the fall of 2018, took the lead after winning the trivia competition on Wednesday night. What will it take for them to win? Consistency, said senior and OCC team member Ben Weide.
“We know Mock Rock is huge, but we also know that we need to be in a good position going into it and we need to continue to place in as many competitions as we can,” Weide said. “And we’re pretty confident. We have some good stuff in the pipeline.”
The photo competition will take place on Thursday and the volunteer hours will be tallied on Friday. Mock Rock will be on the football field at 7 p.m. on Saturday. There, the homecoming king and queen will be crowned and the winning team of Spirit Week will be announced.
After homecoming was canceled last fall, the Alumni Association decided to host a separate alumni reunion in late May, while Spirit Week replaces the traditional homecoming week. The goal of Spirit Week is to focus on school community and spirit, said junior and Student Activities Board Big Events Leader Luciya Katcher.
Though not the traditional homecoming week that typically happens in the fall, the Spirit Week competitions included the annual banner competition, Mock Rock, a photo competition, and a race to complete the most volunteer hours.
The biggest changes, Katcher said, include replacing the traditional wing eating competition with minute-to-win-it, a series of minute-long challenges which took place Tuesday night, and hosting Mock Rock on the football field instead of inside the Roche Sports Complex.
“Even though we’ve thrown Spirit Week at a weird time, in the middle of midterms with no football game, and there’ve been all these obstacles, the student body was willing to rise to that and still bring the spirit and bring this excitement that makes being here fun,” said sophomore and SAB team member Meg Scheske.
In the past, Mock Rock judges have factored in thematics such as lighting and confetti. Katcher said this year, the judges’ primary focus will be the dancing.
“It’s more about how well you can put together the routine and wow the judges,” Katcher said. “We are trying to get the feel of a Friday night football game where we say, ‘come out and get cozy with your friends. Come out with blankets.’”
For the minute-to-win-it games, the contestants were asked to complete five to six challenges, each in less than a minute. Tasks included blowing cups across a table, stacking as many Oreos as possible on one’s head, sliding an Oreo from one’s forehead into his mouth, and sucking as many beads as possible with a straw out of one cup into another.
SAB is considering continuing doing minute-to-win-it in place of the usual wing-eating contest every year, due to its popularity.
“Minute-to-win-it was really great because it was something different that we tried,” Scheske said. “There’s a lot of energy and that kicked the week off in a good way.”
Simpson won the competition with a total of 90 points with Olds and Cross Country finishing in second and third place, respectively.
Olds always has an enthusiastic presence in Homecoming week, and this year is no exception, said freshman and Olds resident Orlagh O’Donohue.
“It’s so fun to see how much it impacts the community and how I’ve grown so much closer to so many people really that I usually wouldn’t have seen,” O’Donohue said.
Kappa Kappa Gamma did not participate this year, and Delta Sigma Phi and Delta Tau Delta dropped out on the third day of competitions.
Simpson, who lost homecoming last year for the first time in seven years, is hopeful to take the win on Saturday, said senior and head RA Tom Howell.
“It’ll take a lot of practice from the guys, it’ll take a lot of demos, and it’ll take guys who are willing to put in the work, but I think most importantly it will take guys who have a lot of energy and just want to go out there and have fun,” Howell said.
Senior and OCC team member Patrick Mitchell added that Spirit Week is a time for all parts of campus to participate in activities together.
“Off campus residents have a reputation for isolation, or just the belief that they’re separate from the rest of the campus,” said Mitchell. “I think that this just proves that wrong, that we are a united front and we can come and perform for all the tournaments just like any other dorm, or sorority, or fraternity.”
The most important aspect, though, is the community and spirit that Spirit Week creates, added sophomore and Simpson resident Matthias Rhein. There has been a decline in participation this year because of the move to the spring semester, he said, but an increase in campus camaraderie.
“It’s a lot of delayed bonding that could have happened early on, and at this point, people are already in their own friend groups, whereas homecoming last year was where I made most of my friends,” Rhein said. “I think that homecoming and Mock Rock and all these events are something that campus dearly needed and I wish that it would have happened last semester. It’s amazing how much campus, at least last semester, lacked without it.”