Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Sunday, April 22, 2018

Spirit Week promotes campus unity

Just before 7 p.m. on March 16, two dozen students unexpectedly rose out of the crowd in the Mary Graydon Center and broke out into dance.

The mob was intended to attract attention to the Residence Hall Association’s upcoming Spirit Week, which will feature competitions, performances and games on the Quad to unite AU students, provide entertainment and promote school spirit.

RHA President Anthony Dunham said that besides promoting the Spirit Week kickoff on March 25, the spontaneous flash mob was meant to “shake things up and make a splash in the middle of where students congregate the most.”

Spirit Week is a part of Hall Wars, a semester-long competition between AU residence halls to acquire the most points in philanthropy, spirit and creativity, according to Amanda Liu, RHA's vice president of Advocacy and Communication Coordination. There is no actual prize and Liu decides how many points each hall receives for its involvement.

The first day of Spirit Week will be an outside event on March 25 to “bounce into spring” with a Moonbounce, according to Dunham.

The “Diversival” carnival will take place on the quad March 29 and will feature a dunk tank, face painting, T-shirt making, rock climbing, an inflatable Twister and a Moonbounce, according to RHA Vice President of Programming Amanda Silva.

The carnival will promote diversity and social justice issues at AU.

Each residence hall is represented by a specific color and residents are encouraged to wear their hall colors throughout Spirit Week, said RHA Co-Deputy Programmer Maddie Beard.

Anderson Hall is red, Centennial is pink, Hughes is light blue, Letts, Clark and Roper together are navy blue, McDowell is purple and Tenley is green.

Hall councils also have their own funds to create additional events to acquire spirit points, Liu said. Individual hall councils will decide how to use these funds.

The last day of Spirit Week, which officially ends this semester’s Hall Wars on April 8, will feature the American Banquet, during which the winner of the Mr. American competition will be announced.

Mr. American is a contest between student-elected representatives from each residence hall. The students are nominated by fellow residents and take part in the contest by dressing up and showing a talent.

"It's not exclusive to guys, but traditionally it's guys doing it," Liu said. "It’s like a pageant."

The hall that Mr. American belongs to will receive a large number of points.

After the event, each hall's points, which are based on their involvement during the week, will be tallied up and the winner of Spirit Week will be announced.

Beard said the highlight of the week's events is the school unity that will hopefully result from them.

"We have our basketball games and other things, but having a drive for hall unity, which everyone can be a part of, is really a great thing," Beard said.

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