As November comes to a close and the cold weather takes campus by force, sickness is common. For some, it’s the never-ceasing annoyance of the sniffles, others feel their chest echo with soul-shattering coughs and yet still others, like the majority of the residents in Durfee Hall, find themselves with their head in the toilet. They would have our greatest empathy if it were not a self-inflicted sickness, one that leaves a lingering scent of milky vomit permeating their halls.
When asked about the numerous odd traditions that go on, Matt Henkel (’23) offered some insight into the method behind the madness that is Durfee Hall. He said, “Our dorm traditions include the Gallon Challenge, Durfee Dinners, Chapel Runs and Christmas Caroling. I personally participate in all of these traditions, as I believe it’s a great way to build community with everyone in the dorm. The atmosphere is always enjoyable because there is always something going on; our traditions are one of the reasons why Durfee is the best dorm at Hope. So far, my favorite event has been the Gallon Challenge. It is really quite amazing all the people that come to watch a bunch of guys throw up.”
Another resident of the dorm, but one that sits on the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of dorm tradition involvement is Max Case (’23), who, despite living in Durfee, is more content being a spectator rather than a participant. He revealed, “There are only a few of the traditions I am familiar with, but those that I do know about I have chosen not to participate in for a multitude of reasons. Sometimes I am out of town when they take places, other times I am slammed with work or homework, but most of the time it is simply a case of these are not events that are my idea of fun. I understand the whole ‘college experience’ mantra, but my personality is much more reserved and relaxed than many of the guys that live in Durfee. Initially, the dorm atmosphere is somewhat overwhelming, but eventually, you just get used to the insanity that happens daily. The guys that live there are actually quite cool and respect personal boundaries, which is something I admire in them.”
Max’s experience is a testament that, even though he prefers to take a step back from the chaos, the dorm is accepting of his choice and has allowed him to grow more into himself. He concluded by saying, “This entire experience has made me realize that it is vital to be yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable doing something, it’s ok to say no.”
The brotherhood built amidst the throwing up of green milk is not for the faint of heart or even something most of us can comprehend. However, despite the chaotic nature of Durfee hall, it is reassuring to learn even the more quiet personalities can thrive and enjoy the same community without succumbing to the crazy, yet comical, traditions.