Post by Emily Johnson, freshman biology major
Some days are good because your favorite song comes on the radio; some days are good because a quiz you forgot about is canceled; and some days are good because your residence building dominates in an epic battle of tug of war.
Tuesday, October 14 was one of those days.
Every year, the freshmen of Heritage Residence Complex compete in the highly momentous Deep-Fried Olympics with their fellow building residents. As you might infer, the theme of the competition is decidedly Southern. The evening provides an opportunity for everyone to unleash their inner “country girl/boy,” and flannel, overalls, and a plethora of camouflage are the preferred dress. The first event, an obstacle relay race, involves a tire run and a trash-sack hurdle. Next on the agenda is a Cricket Spit (yes, the crickets are alive and hopping), followed closely by a potato sack race. The grand finale is a merciless tug of war. As teams prepared for battle, the intensity was palpable. Everything hinged on this one event. The quiet before the “GO!” was broken only by hoarse commands to “Pull with your legs!” The competition was intense and laughter was loud as residents were hauled across the sopping wet grass.
As the points were being tallied, students merrily consumed corn-dogs and Oreos (properly deep-fried, of course). A few began dancing to an impromptu Cotton-Eyed Joe. When Resident Director Tim Call, emcee of the event, cleared his throat to begin the awards ceremony, a drumroll swelled. Apartments such as the Lads of Lee, the Dehoney Bees, the Men of Grey and the Beauties of Craig were suddenly united in their anticipation. Surrounded by my fellow first-years, I was struck by the sense of camaraderie.
Union places most freshmen in the Heritage Residence Complex for the purpose of fostering community among first-year students. We are all sharing similar experiences of prolonged group projects, never-ending laundry and Olympics that are Deep-Fried. We are living life together. The Heritage complex at Union enables freshmen to share with one another the struggles, joys, and changes that inevitably make up freshman year. The Deep-Fried Olympics is just one of many events that freshmen get to experience together.
The first awards went to the best costumes, evoking much laughter and applause from the crowd of hillbillies. Tim Call next revealed the third and second place apartments, and they mounted the shaky victors’ platform of tires. Silence fell as Tim paused for dramatic effect. Finally he declared, “And our first place prize, the coveted Golden Toilet Seat, goes to: GREY AND CRAIG!” As the grimy champions shouted for joy and embraced one another, my RA proudly brandished the gilded testament to our victory. Covered in mud and shuddering in the October chill, I had never been prouder to be a Union freshman.
Photos of Deep Fried Olympics by MiKalla Cotton