*Please note that this article is part of the Ranchor (the Anchor’s satirical edition)!
Spring is on the horizon, and the end of the semester is in sight. With that knowledge comes a lot of uncertainty, especially concerning student housing. Underclassmen at Hope College eagerly await the annual housing draw, hoping that their uncertainty will be resolved with the knowledge of their next place of residence.
Unfortunately, all exciting prospects also come with conflict. Last year, the housing draw sparked a high-stakes “game” between the eleven dorms. Every student who intended to participate in the housing draw was requested to meet in the Great Room of the Bultman Student Center, where they would choose their dorms for the following school year. However, when the event began, things took a turn for the worst. Students from each dorm were told to gather together as allies, while everyone’s names were dropped into a hat.
A student named Rue (‘37, Dorm 11) said, “They were supposed to be pulling numbers so we could choose our rooms, but they started calling names from each dorm instead, beginning with Dykstra and Gilmore and ending with Scott and Kollen.”
The students who were chosen–two from each dorm–were called to the front and became the “representatives” of their dorms. They were required to put in a good word for the dorm and set a good example, but also participate in an intense set of obstacle courses and mazes so that they could choose their next housing location. The games included a diverse mix of psychological and physical games, and took place at DeVos Fieldhouse. The rest of the students were thoroughly confused about the prospects of their housing, but the directors told them not to worry. The Great Room broke out into chaos.
One student, Kat Everdeen (‘28), a sophomore majoring in exercise science and political science, said it was oddly reminiscent of her time during the Hunger Games. Her name was drawn for Kollen Hall and she has provided the Ranchor with specific details about her experience.
First, we discussed the aftermath of being drawn as a representative. Everdeen explained her feelings. “I was honestly so traumatized. I thought I was so unlucky to have had my name called. You see, I’ve had to participate in these types of games so many times. But after being chosen, I was told to meet my other representative, Peeta Mellark, who is actually one of my good friends from my Hunger Games years. Although I was frustrated, we both thought that this would be really simple.”
Everdeen continued to explain that being a “representative” included planning, training and advising, and was what she described as “incredibly boring.”
She noted, “I didn’t feel the need to train because I was an athlete and I had done the Pull. I thought I was pretty experienced when it came to this type of activity.”
When the games began, a week after the initial name draw, the entire Hope campus gathered in DeVos to watch the games. The students from all eleven dorms gathered on the gym floor, prepared to do the usual camp games to win points. However, to their surprise, the computer science majors displayed a project they’d been working on for the past months: a virtual reality game platform where all of the players would have to compete for survival. The crowd roared with excitement.
When creating the game space, Dr. Coriolanus Snow, the computer science professor who had overseen the creation of the game , said, “It was intended to replicate the Hunger Games, except no one was supposed to get hurt in this version.”
The games started well. The students entered the virtual reality space and began the game. Many of the students from Wyckoff and Voorhees kept to themselves and hid in the woods. A girl from Gilmore got creative by creating a fort for shelter. However, things quickly got out of hand, when mutations (mutts) designed to appear as Flying Dutchman started chasing players off of cliffs and into dangerous situations.
Everdeen said, “I saw that this was the Hunger Games all over again, and I knew this had to stop. We all just wanted to find out where we were going to live. We didn’t want to be LIVE entertainment.”
She didn’t know how to communicate with the moderators that this game was unfair, so Everdeen teamed up with Mellark and did what they knew best. They played the game and won.
Since the traumatic Hunger Games Housing Draw debacle, revisions have been made for this year to make the process less violent. Even with the calmer atmosphere, students are still hoping for low numbers and certain dorms for the coming year. With that, best of luck to the students of Hope, and “may the odds be ever in your favor.”
Housing draw doom (Credit: Lionsgate)