Boarder Wars

Competition heats up in the Residence Department 

Let the games begin. The House Council has re­vamped the Hall Wars, the Resident Depart­ment’s annual inter-hall com­petition. With Fat Straws gift cards, amusement park trips and special eat-out dinners at stake, the Hall Wars have sparked the competitive spirit of the Resident Department.

“The purpose was to bring the halls together through competition, so it’s kind of a fun thing to do,” House Coun­cil President senior Anita Wang said. “It’s also a stress re­lief, and people get to have fun but also get to be competitive.”

Although the competition is a tradition for the Resident Department, enthusiasm for the competition had faded in previous years, with some girls not even participating. In or­der to instill enthusiasm for this year’s competition, House Council “really tried to bring it back and make it some­thing people really want to do,” Wang said.

To accomplish that, the council overhauled the old competitions, which were dominated by more competi­tive activities like relay races. This year, the Hall Wars are instead a boarding version of Upper School Form Day com­petitions. The competition has different scavenger-hunt type “tasks” to complete, ranging from “Easy” to “Impossible.”

House Council creates the new list of tasks for each quarter, and the prefect, an upperclassmen leader who lives on each hall, acts as a scorekeeper, tallying points for each task completed.

Although most tasks can be completed on Hockaday’s cam­pus, some opportunities to gain points occur off-campus. Howev­er, finding a way to accomplish these goals is not a problem.

“Many of tasks can be fin­ished on the daily boarding ac­tivities we go on, so it’s not an actual burden on the girls to find transportation,” Wang said.

The tasks include taking a selfie with Upper School Head John Ashton, a picture of a male faculty member wearing a Hockaday skirt and a pic­ture of the Hockaday possum on campus. When a girl com­pletes a task, she earns points for her residence hall, either Upper/Lower Morgan or Upper/ Lower Trent. A single task com­pleted can gain a hall points from 10 to 80.

However, even though points are mostly given, they can be deducted too. One infrac­tion will cost a hall ten points, and cheating within the compe­tition will cause the hall to lose all points gained.

Wang said that feedback on the wars so far have been posi­tive, and many have praised the new challenges.

“The challeng­es are really fun but some are pretty hard. While the impossi­ble ones are the hardest, they’re definitely the most interesting,” sophomore Amanda Xiong, a member of Lower Morgan hall, said. She took a photo of a male faculty member in a Hockaday skirt, gaining her hall 40 points.

The tasks allow the girls to unite as a hall. In order to win the competition, the hallmates must work together in order to complete the tasks. “I like how it helps the hall work together, and some of us don’t see each other that often, so the activities give us a chance to bond,” Xiong said.

“I think it’s healthy and fun for the girls to have something to work toward as a team, just to break the stress and monotony of the daily grind. The competi­tion builds a team spirit among hall mates,” Vicki Palmer, Upper Morgan Dorm Mom, added.

At the end of each quarter, the hall with the most points wins a “quarter gift,” which can range from gift cards to Fat Straws or a hall-wide dinner out in Dallas. Halls choose their quarter gifts themselves.

And at the end of the year, the hall winner will be an­nounced. The hall which has won the most “quarter gifts” will win the whole competition. As a reward, each girl in the winning hall will receive a small trophy, and the larger Hall Wars trophy will be passed down to their hall.

Although the competition is only open to resident stu­dents, the Resident Department hopes to create a conversation with the day students about the competition and provoke interest in boarding overall. “We don’t want to make board­ing seem like a separate entity,” Wang said. “We want people to be more involved in Upper School and in boarding.”

As of Nov. 4, the points are as follows: Lower Morgan leads with 840, Upper Morgan has 817, Lower Trent has 240 and Upper Trent has 190.

– Sunila Steephen